Word Watch: How to use it’s and its

This Word Watch is about our little friends its and it’s. Its and it’s are confused quite often, and it is easy to use one in a sentence when you should be using the other.

In my blog about using you’re and your, I touched on how an apostrophe is used to show a possession or a contraction. We can apply that knowledge to it’s and its.



It’s is a contraction of “it is”. The apostrophe is used to represent the missing letters in the contraction. You use the word it’s in place of “it is” or “it has” in a sentence.


For example: It’s going to be sunny this weekend. (Instead of writing “It is going to be sunny this weekend”)


It’s been a long wait. (Instead of writing “It has been a long wait”)



Its on the other hand, is a possessive pronoun. It is used to show possession like “his” or “her”. It is the possessive form of the word “it”.


For example: Its water bowl is blue.

In this example, the “it” in the sentence is a dog. You use its because the “it” (the dog) possesses the blue water bowl.

Handy Tips for Remembering


There is a handy trick to remember when to use its or it’s. If you can replace its with “his” or “her” and the sentence still makes sense, then you use its. Also, if you can replace it’s with “it is” or “it has” and the sentence still makes sense, then you use it’s.


What words do you mix up or confuse sometimes?

Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for my next Word Watch!



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