ITS or IT’S? What’s the difference?
One of the most common errors in English is to confuse IT’S and ITS.
Definition for IT’S
- It’s is ALWAYS a contraction.
- It usually means IT IS.
- It can also mean IT HAS.
Examples for IT’S:
- It’s a nice day. (It is a nice day.)
- It’s unusual, but I like it. (It is unusual.)
- I recognize that.It’s Jo’s sweater. (It is Jo’s sweater.)
- It’s been a good holiday, but we need to go home now. (It has been a good holiday.)
Definition for ITS
- ITS is a possessive adjective. You follow this with a noun (i.e., a person, place or thing).
- This means that the noun belongs to IT.
Examples for ITS:
- Our tree has bugs on its leaves.
- Isn’t this pretty? Turn it on its side and you can see all sorts of colours.
- Our table has a scratch on one of its legs.
Why do so many people confuse IT and IT’S?
This is confusing because typically when a word is a possessive, it has an apostrophe.
For example, the car that belongs to Bob is Bob’s car. The dish that belongs to the dog is the dog’s dish.
The car that belongs to Bob is his car and the dish that belongs to the dog is its dish.