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Difference Between Its Vs. It's: Explanation, Examples, and Quiz

Updated on September 7, 2014

It's a Pencil with Its Tip Sharpened

Knowing the difference between it's and its is important if you want to seem educated.
Knowing the difference between it's and its is important if you want to seem educated.

Which to Use: It's or Its

Its vs. It's is one of those tough grammar choices you have to figure out or just know the rule. It's something that can make you second guess yourself, wondering if you need to go back to school to learn to write again. Guessing between whether to use it's or its can make you appear uneducated or like you do not know English well.

It's a common grammar mistake that causes trouble for many people, so don't beat yourself up over it. The explanation of which version to use is seems simple enough if you already know the meaning, but it can be extremely difficult when you don't understand.  Look below for examples of its and it's, explanation of when to use each, and a quiz to test your understanding.

Difference between It's and Its

"It is"
It's raining outside.
Possessive of "It"
Its resolution is HD

Examples of It's in Sentences

Here are some examples of It's used in sentences to help you know the difference between it's vs. its.

  1. It's a nice day to have a picnic today.
  2. Tell me when it's ten o' clock, so I can start studying.
  3. It's hard to stay awake when it's raining outside.
  4. Ask me why it's smelly in here.
  5. It's too late to be out here in the middle of nowhere.

Examples of Its in Sentences

Here are some examples of "Its" used in sentences. Use these to help you understand that "its" is the possessive form of it.

  1. Its paw was hurt by the rough pavement.
  2. This microphone is great. Its response is flat and smooth.
  3. The statue is so tall, its shadow is a mile long.
  4. The song is singable, and its rhythm is danceable.
  5. I think this houseplant has outgrown its pot.


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    • profile image

      ben 6 years ago

      But that doesn't explain other possession. With : "Lady Wordsmith's" a letter is not omitted.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      It's easy really - the apostrophe merely signifies a omitted letter, and thus the joining of two words to make one. A letter is not omitted when using the possessive form of 'it', which is why there is no apostrophe.

      It took me ages to work that out! I first got it stuck in my head about two years ago, and there's been no looking back :)