Jul 31, 2013
One of the most common grammatical mistakes I see people make it misusing “its,” “it’s,” and “its’.” I can understand the confusion and honestly it is sometimes hard to determine which one is correct so I hope this brief overview can help clear up the confusion.
It’s - This should actually be the easiest usage to get correct. The only time you should use this form of the word is when it can replace the phrase “it is”. When the apostrophe is between the “t” and the “s” it creates a contraction. Basically you are combining two words into one to save a little space on the page. Example: “It’s going to rain.”
Its - This signals ownership. Normally the owner will not have a defined sex (otherwise you can use “his” or “her”). Additionally, if you are showing ownership by multiple individuals, “their” would work as well. Example: “The dog chased its ball around the yard.”
Its’ - This word does not actually exist in the English language. Don’t use it. Make sure you are using one of the two versions above.