Alex Crowe

Is it “it’s” or “its”? It’s “its”, isn’t it?

In Grammar etc. on January 21, 2013 at 9:59 am

When it comes to “its” or “it’s”, there’s a simple rule to remember: If you are trying to write “it is” or “it has”, use “it’s”. In all other cases, use “its”.

Even after an English degree, an English-teaching qualification and 18 years as a professional writer, I look twice at every “its” just to be sure. It’s not something to be embarrassed about. Or even admit in public.

(Much confusion over “its” and “it’s” comes from the apostrophe’s usual role to indicate possession – eg, “the cat’s food”. Just to be completely clear, “its” is the possessive form – eg, “the cat has its food”.)


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