its kitten

The difference between it’s and its

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I’m going to be teaching you the difference between it’s and its. This was a request by one of our subscribers who wrote to us on our Facebook page.

So when do we use it’s and when do we use its?

It’s quite simple, really. It’s is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. So every time you use it’s, you actually mean “it is” or “it has”. Here are a few examples:

It’s too late to make a decision now.” is the same as “It is too late to make a decision now.”
“She thinks it’s a sign for her to accept the offer.” is the same as “She thinks it is a sign for her to accept the offer.”
It’s been 10 years since we last met!” is the same “It has been 10 years since we last met!”

Now when do we use its? Its without the apostrophe is the possessive of a pronoun. You use it to say something belongs to or refers to something. Examples:

“I think the poor kitten has lost its mum.”
“The company’s website says its mission is to serve as many people as possible.”

So the next time you find yourself confused between it’s and its, try replacing it with “it is” or “it has”. If neither of those phrases sound right in its place, then its is the word you’re looking for.

I hope this post has been helpful and we’ll talk to you again next week! Don’t forget to check out our other posts to improve your English here on the blog.

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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