Refresher on IT’S vs. ITS
On December 21, 2020 | 0 Comments | Grammar tips |

Are you confused by when to use IT’S and when to use ITS? If so, you have every right to be, because the correct way to use ITS goes against the general rule we’re taught about apostrophes. Here’s a refresher on the difference between the two:

 

 

We normally use an apostrophe when something belongs to someone or something — in other words, to indicate possession:

  • This diary belongs to Daphne.
  • This is Daphne’s diary.

 

  • I like going to that movie theater because the seats there are super comfortable.
  • That movie theater’s seats are super comfortable.

 

However, when something belongs to IT, no apostrophe is needed:

  • That movie theater’s seats are super comfortable.
  • I like going to that movie theater because ITS seats are super comfortable.

 

  • Daphne’s diary has a green cover.
  • That’s Daphne’s diary, and ITS cover is green.

 

We also use apostrophes as a contraction for a noun plus the verb IS or HAS:

  • This seat is super comfortable.
  • This seat’s super comfortable. (Seat + IS)

 

  • Gloria has seen that movie three times.
  • Gloria’s seen that movie three times. (Movie + HAS)

 

Following the contraction rule for apostrophes, IT’S is used as contraction for IT IS or IT HAS:

  • IT IS getting dark, so I really should go home.
  • IT’S getting dark, so I really should go home. (IT + IS)

 

  • Are you okay? IT HAS been weeks since I’ve heard from you.
  • Are you okay? IT’S been weeks since I’ve heard from you. (IT + HAS)

 

Do the above examples make sense? Essentially, ITS as the possessive form of IT is an exception to the rule regarding apostrophes, so it comes down to memorization to get it right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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