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It's and Its

Average: 4 (33 votes)

When we are writing it is very easy to get confused by 'it's' or 'its'. Here is an explanation that may help avoid confusion:


'It's' is short for 'it is' or 'it has' and this is the rule. If you can't expand 'it's' to 'it is' or 'it has' then you're using 'its' when you shouldn't and that is wrong.

It's been raining all week and now it's starting to snow. (it has – it is)
It's been a very difficult year for me.
(It has)


'Its' is exactly like 'his' or 'her'. ‘His’ is used for a masculine possessor – These are his keys. 'Her' is used for a feminine possessor – that is her car. 'Its' is used for a neutral possessor – The car has its own GPS unit.

The tiger stalks its prey in thick jungle.
The university has its own car park.

Lesson by Tristan, English teacher at EC Malta school

Now complete the following using it's or its:

  • 1. _ one of the hardest tests I’ve ever taken.

  • 2. The company wants to have _ own training centre.

  • 3. This machine has _ own self diagnostics programme.

  • 4. In Rome _ really hard to find your way around the city centre.

  • 5. _ getting harder to find good jobs here.

  • 6. _ been a very good year for me.