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Grammar Lesson: When to Use Its or It's

Updated on October 12, 2012

Should I Use Its or It's

In order to do well on your English tests, and to sound like an educated person when writing online, it's really important that you understand when to use the word "its" and when to use the word "it's". Knowing when to use "it's" or "its" will also help you achieve higher scores and therefore higher earnings when you submit writing samples to a writing site.

It's easy to make a mistake when deciding which word to use, since using logic will give you the wrong answer. If you use logic, since you would use an apostrophe when you write "The car's tires", that you would think that you should use the apostrophe when you say "It's tires." Unfortunately, that is not correct grammar.


Grammar Lesson to decide when to use the apostrophe in writing "its".
Grammar Lesson to decide when to use the apostrophe in writing "its". | Source

The rule of Its vs. It's

In proper grammar, the only time you use the apostrophe is when you are using the shortened form of "it is" and "it has". Otherwise, you do not use the apostrophe.

Contraction is It's

When you use the words it is in their contracted form, it is acceptable to use the word "it's". It's a beautiful day today.


Possessive is Its

When you use the possessive of it, you use the word "its". I can't use the car if its tire is punctured. Luckily, it isn't.

Examples of It's and Its

I believe that it's important to look at examples of sentences that use the words its and it's correctly. Since you've probably seen the words used incorrectly, you may have gotten used to seeing them used incorrectly. When you look at them keeping the rule in mind, you will hopefully begin to remember them in the proper form.


  • It's important to use the rule instead of logic when deciding whether to use its or it's.
  • The English language can be confusing. Its rules are not always logical.
  • It's a beautiful day today. The sun is shining its rays brightly on us.
  • It's been a beautiful week.
  • The forecaster said it's going to rain tomorrow. I hope the cloud holds off its crying until after my walk.
  • It's good that it isn't cold enough to snow.
  • This is my first hub on HubPages. I hope its readership is great, and its content is appealing. It's going to be wonderful to read my first comments.

Its vs. It's

It's important to use proper grammar to sound educated and do well on tests. The rule of its vs. it's is a very simple one, even though it defies logical sense. By simply following the rule, you will use proper grammar and avoid irritating your boss and your readers.

Comments about It's vs. Its

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    • Silwen profile image

      Silwen 5 years ago from Europe

      Thank you. The hub was very useful for me, because English is not my mother-tongue. Your explanations were very clear and I as sure I will not make mistakes writing "it's" and "its"

    • dipless profile image

      dipless 5 years ago from Manchester

      may point some of the hubs I come across during my hub hopping to this, good article.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I had problems with this as well. I think I've got it now. Thank you.

    • Word Pools profile image
      Author

      Word Pools 5 years ago from United States of America

      Silwen, I can't imagine trying to learn another language and all of its crazy rules. I think English is especially hard. I am glad to help you with this one crazy rule. I kept getting it wrong too.

    • Word Pools profile image
      Author

      Word Pools 5 years ago from United States of America

      dipless - thank you for your compliment and potential shares. It is a common error.

    • Word Pools profile image
      Author

      Word Pools 5 years ago from United States of America

      Millionaire Tips, you're welcome. I am glad this hub helped you.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Word Pools, I have come back to let you know that I've created a list of my favorite hubs I've read this week, and your hub made it on the list. Good job!

    • Word Pools profile image
      Author

      Word Pools 5 years ago from United States of America

      Thanks a lot Millionaire Tips. I am happy my first hub was good enough to be featured on your list of favorites.

    • profile image

      Damasceno 5 years ago

      Thanks for a very useful piece of grammar.

    • Word Pools profile image
      Author

      Word Pools 5 years ago from United States of America

      Thank you Damasceno - many people make this mistake.

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