Its vs It’s or Its’- Commonly Confused Words

Its vs It’s and its’ at a glance, it seems confusing, doesn’t it?

English is obviously the most ridiculous language due to its arbitrarily set grammatical rules about every sentence and word. When it comes to the use of its, it’s, and its’, this is where most people, including some of the most novice English learners, get confused.

In this article, we’ll look at the main differences between these three words and how they are often used in sentences.

Read our post, The 7 Best Ways to Improve your English Writing Skills

How to Use Its vs It’s and Its’

Its vs It’s

In most cases, the confusion is normally between the word its and it’s where people assume that it’s with an apostrophe is supposed to show possession, especially since possessive pronouns normally have apostrophes at the end like your’s, and John’s.

However, contrary to this belief, it’s is normally used as a short form of it is, while the word ‘its’ is used as a possessive pronoun. On the other hand, there is no word such as its’ in English. So the main problem should be between its vs it’s.

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Grammarly is an online platform for free spell checking, anti-plagiarism and grammatical correctness of a textual language variety. The proofreader can apply more than 250 different grammatical rules.

But Why do People Use Its’

If the word its’ does not exist in the English dictionary, the common question that bothers many people write the word in the first place. In most cases, this happens as a spelling error in a sentence, which is normal for everybody. But in some cases, people use the word to show possession, which is wrong.

At times it’s okay to put apostrophes at the end of a word without adding an ‘s’ to show possession. For instance, one can say, “Jesus’ book.” However, this is not okay when it comes to it. To make it a possessive pronoun one only needs to add an ‘s’ making it ‘its’.

When to Use It’s

As stated earlier, ‘it’s’ with an apostrophe between ‘t’ and ‘s’ represents an abbreviated form of it is. This is usually done to make the word more comfortable to read in a sentence making it more conversational. While using ‘it’s’ in a sentence, you should make sure that they are talking about the verb is. So, you can replace the word with the long-form of the word, which is ‘it is’ to see if the sentence still makes sense. If this doesn’t sound right, replace ‘it’s’ with its, which is a possessive pronoun.

Here are some examples:

  • It’s common knowledge that reading improves writing skills.
  • It’s been raining since the morning.
  • The dog has been barking all day; it’s really hungry.

When to Use Its

In English, as we’ve come to learn, an apostrophe at the end of a word followed by an ‘s’ normally indicates possession. However, when it comes to it, which refers to animals and things previously mentioned in a sentence, you don’t need an apostrophe at the end.

In fact, all personal pronouns in English do not have an apostrophe at the end of the sentences. These include I, he, she, it, they and we, which transform to my, his, her, its, their, our respectively. So, you should not add an apostrophe instead only add an ‘s’ at the end of the word it.

Here are some good examples:

  • The dog lost its ear during a battle.
  • America is a well-known country. Its currency is used across the world.
  • The lion fed its cubs with fresh deer meat.

When to Use Its’

As stated earlier, the word its’ does not exist in any English dictionary. So if you’ve been using Its’ in any of your sentences, you need to go back through your work and remove them immediately.

A homonym is a word that has multiple meaning. For example, the right way moral, the opposite of left, and personal freedom.
Definition: one of a group of phrases that share the identical spelling and pronunciation, however, have different meanings.
The factor is that homonyms are each homophone (they sound the same) and homographs (they appear the same).

This will save you a lot of embarrassment, especially if you are looking to submit your work to an editor.

In this article, we have briefly analysed the differences between Its vs. It’s and its commonly confused words, if you have any doubt, leave a comment.

Its vs It’s or Its’- Commonly Confused Words

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