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It’s vs. Its: An Easy Way to Remember The Difference

Grammar and Writing tips from Giftsin24.com

Learn to Love Telling the Difference Between It’s and Its

You may be years out of high school and don’t have a teacher grading your writing anymore, but do you know that work colleagues, business clients and even friends may be secretly judging you by your grammar? And while most friends won’t drop you because you make an occasional grammar slip, potential employers or clients just might toss your resume or sales letter.

One of the most common grammar mistakes is using “it’s” in place of “its.” Here is a quick run-down on how and when to use these commonly mixed-up words.

It’s a contraction

“It’s” is a contraction that means “it is.” The apostrophe replaces the space and the missing letter/s of the second word…just as the apostrophe replaces the missing letters in “can’t” (can not) and “don’t”  (do not).

Example: It is a fine day. It’s a fine day.

Its definition is easy to remember

On the other hand, “its” is the possessive form of the word “it.” We add an “s” to the ends of words to indicate that something belongs to someone or something else: hers, his, theirs, ours, etc.

Example: That shoe is hers. The cat licked its paws.

The confusion arises because we attach ” ‘s ” to names and nouns to make them possessive. “Deanne’s shoes are clean.” “The cat’s paws are dirty.”

It’s  (it is) so tempting to add an apostrophe to “Its paws are dirty.” But don’t!

So the next time you write the three little letters i-t-s, think before you add that apostrophe before the s.

If it’s a contraction, meaning “it is” or “it has,” include the apostrophe.

If its meaning is possessive, then leave it out.

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