Difference between Its and It’s

September 28, 2016 by Editorial Team

Its and it’s are two words that people interchange, thinking they are the same. Let us dig into the usage of these two and see if there are any differences between its and it’s.


Its vs It’s

It’s is a contraction of the words it is or it has. It has no other usage than it being a contraction. If the word cannot be expanded, then it should not be used.


It’s a great honor to be here. (it is)
It’s been a long journey. (it has)
I cannot understand the illustration because it’s too complicated. (it is)
It’s eaten up my time! (it has)

Its is the possessive form of the pronoun it, similar to mine, yours, his and her. It is often followed by an object.


The box is wrapped with packaging tape. Its contents must be fragile.

Its here refers to the bag.

The hamster bit its own foot.

Its is attributed to the hamster.

English is a complicated language. Its grammar rules can be so perplexing.

Its refers to English.

Its vs It’s

So what is the difference between its and it’s?

Its simply shows ownership, as it is the possessive form of it, while it’s is short for it is. Most people get confused with these two because they are used to adding an ‘s to the end of possessive words such as “Lila’s car” or “the paper’s color.” To avoid being confused, replace the word with “it is” or “it has” and see if it makes sense. For example:

She hugged its soft and fluffy face.

If you change it to it is, the sentence would not make sense.

It’s good to remember the old times.

The correct one would be it’s because it makes sense to say “it is good.”

Its laws are ridiculous.

You cannot use “it is laws” because it would sound funny.

Comparison Chart

Contraction of it is.Possessive form of the pronoun it. Followed by an object.

  • It’s been raining hard these past few weeks.
  • She’s shocked that you don’t know she’s pregnant because it’s been on the news.
  • It’s a good life!

  • In its mission to impact the younger generation, LifeOrg is doing this project for all the kids.
  • The design is beautiful in its own way.
  • Its surface feels dull.


You can watch the video below to further understand it’s and its.