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It's and Its.

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on October 19, 2015 at 5:15 PM

It's and Its.

 Don’t mix these up!!

IT'S – the apostrophe is used here to indicate a contracted form. It's used as a shortened form of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’.

 For example

  1. It's (it is) a long way to Tipperary.
  2. It’s (it is) great to see you!
  3. It’s (it has) been a long time!
  4. It's (it has) been ready for weeks!

 However, we can see the difference between the two in the following example:

  • It’s (it is) annoying when it’s (it is) not in its right place.

 When not to use the apostrophe?

ITS – this form indicates a possessive in the sense that something belongs to the word which follows. So the ‘its’ on ‘its right place’ above indicates that the place ‘belongs’ to it.

 For example

  1. The doll had lost its arms and legs.
  2. The food had lost all of its flavour.
  3. Kenya is famous for its wildlife.

Spot the errors here

  1. There is no way its going to be as good as its sequal.
  2. I find its very difficult.
  3. Its lost it’s appeal.
  4. Its similar to words like ‘his’ and ‘hers’.

 Think about the meaning of this last example.

  • Its similar to words like ‘his’ and ‘hers’.

Would you ever see:

  1. Its nearly as nice as her’s.
  2. Hi’s books are missing?

 So why should we ever write:

  • It’s lost it’s appeal?


Categories: Tips for writers

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1 Comment

Reply Michael
10:13 AM on October 21, 2015 
Could anyone really be this silly?