Difference Between ITS and IT’S

What’s the difference between ITS and IT’S?

Like your and you’re, been and being, his and he’s, this is yet another pair of words many Nigerians use inappropriately.

The misuse arose from how they’re pronounced, and truth be told, there’s no discernible difference in their pronunciation.

The two are pronounced the same way, which is what confuses many when it comes to writing.

The difference between the two, however, is very simple. One is a determiner/possessive pronoun and the other is a contraction of two words.

If you understand how words are contracted or how contraction of words work in English, this shouldn’t be a problem. I wrote an article about it here and another compiling a list of contracted words here.

ALSO READ: How to Use AM and I AM Correctly

Difference between ITS and IT’S

When to use IT’S

IT’S is the contraction of IT IS. It is formed from joining the two words together. It is just like HE’S, which was formed from joining HE and IS together.

Therefore, IT’S is suitable for use anywhere IT IS fits.

Example: It’s raining.

In the above example, if you replace it’s with it is, the sentence would still be the same.

The only precaution is that IT IS is preferred in formal writing.

When to use ITS

ITS” is a determiner used to refer to something previously mentioned or something of unspecified sex, like a new born baby or animal.

It can also be used as a possessive pronoun to indicate ownership or possession.

When something belong to something or is a part of that thing, it is ITS own.

Example: Please put the bag down on its side.

Hope this explains the difference between ITS and IT’S. If you have any question, drop them in the comments section.

And that’s it for today on English Grammar.

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