ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Elementary, Middle School & High School

Deciding Between the Words Its and It's: What is the Proper Grammar Usage?

Updated on December 8, 2015

Before writing with the words its or it’s; I’ve noticed that I always pause and mentally question which to use correctly within the context of my text. Upon further investigation, I discovered the reasons behind my uncertainty concerning the proper usage of these two simple, yet unconventional words.

Discovery I: It’s is the contraction for it is or it has. However, anytime I see an apostrophe, I automatically think of the word as showing possession or ownership of something or someone. In the case of it’s, it is simply a contraction; nothing more. Therefore, some examples of the correct usage of it’s are:

It’s time to finish my homework and eat dinner.

It’s been brought to my attention that I may have to work overtime tonight.

Discovery II: Its is a pronoun that can be used as an object of an action or to show possession. Yes, its shows possession without an apostrophe. This word its is an exception to the rules of grammar concerning punctuation. Having made the distinction between its and it’s , here are some examples of the correct usage of it :

The cat was chasing its tail.

The Senator was proud of his bill. Its passage into law was a huge victory.

No matter how tempting it may be, never use an apostrophe with the word it when using it to show possession.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • YvetteParker profile image

      YvetteParker 6 years ago from AUGUSTA, GA

      Thanks so much Ann. I'm glad that you appreciate the clarification. I found it quite intriguing once I finally researched the difference. I frankly just got tired of second-guessing myself everytime I needed to use either word.

      Trimar, thank you so very much for your comments. I've had the joy and pleasure of teaching 4th grade as well. Another mixup that bothers me is your and you're. I can't count the number of times I've seen YOUR WELCOME instead of you're welcome!!

    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 6 years ago from New York

      Oh this could get me started. I teach fourth graders and I expect them to mix up words, punctuation, etc., but when I continue to see such errors on the Internet - I get a bit concerned where our future is headed in language.

      Others that make me crazy: accept/except; then/than; to, too, two; their, there, they're, etc.

    • AnnRandolph profile image

      AnnRandolph 6 years ago

      Hey, this is so timely. Spell check corrected my use of the word it's yesterday and I didn't know why. Thanks for the clarification.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)