myQBook Grammar Concept

Common Mistakes: Its vs. It's

Many people get confused about whether to use “its” or "it's" in a sentence. As you read in the previous section, "its" is a possessive pronoun while "it's" is a contraction for "it is".

The rule to remember here is that possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. “It’s” contains an apostrophe; therefore, it is not a possessive pronoun. “Its”, on the other hand, does not have an apostrophe; it is a possessive pronoun.

If you are not sure whether to use "its" or "it's", spell it out as “it is” and see if it makes sense. For example:

The front of the car was drenched, but its wheels were not wet at all.

Here, some people may think that “it’s” may be the correct form to use. The trick is to spell it as “ it is” in the sentence and see if it still makes sense. “The front of the car was drenched, but it is wheels were not wet at all.”

Obviously, this doesn’t make sense, so the correct word is “its”. This trick works for all confusing situations with “it’s” and “its”.


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Personal Pronouns
Relative Pronouns

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