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Mastering “Its” and “It’s”: A Grammar Rule You Should Know

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A Grammar Rule: The Difference Between Its and It’s

One of the most common mistakes in English grammar is the confusion between “its” and “it’s.” While they look similar, they have different meanings and uses. Understanding the difference between the two can help you improve your writing and avoid embarrassing mistakes. Here’s a brief explanation of this grammar rule.


“Its” is a possessive pronoun that shows ownership. It is used to indicate that something belongs to a thing or animal, not a person. For example:

– The dog played with its toy.

Here, “its” shows that the toy belongs to the dog.


“It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.” It is used to indicate a condition or an action. For example:

– It’s a beautiful day today.
– It’s been a long time since we last spoke.

Here, “it’s” indicates the condition of the day and the passage of time.

Remembering the Difference

To remember the difference between “its” and “it’s,” try using this mnemonic:

– “Its” is like “his” and “hers,” but it’s only for things and animals, not people. (Example: The cat scratched its paw.)
– “It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.” (Example: It’s time to go home.)


Using “its” and “it’s” correctly is an essential part of proper English grammar. Remember, “its” shows ownership, while “it’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.” With this simple grammar rule in mind, you can improve your writing and avoid mistakes that can detract from your credibility as a writer.