It's v. Its
Do you ever find yourself caught between the two? Wrestling with which one applies? Confused about what each one means? Wondering if the apostrophe-s signifies possession or contraction? Fret no more. The quick explanations and the dirty examples follow:
It's is a contraction of either "it is" or "it has." The apostrophe indicates that letters have been left out to form a contraction with the two words. The pronoun "it" refers to an object, animal, idea, place; in other words, anything other than a human.
The pig wallowed in the foul-smelling mud that covered the entire sty in a thick slurry. It's happy to live in such swell squalor.
Its is a possessive pronoun. This pronoun indicates that the object, animal, place, idea (essentially any noun that is not human) to which it refers owns something else in the sentence.
The sweet smell of its pigpen denied the distant ringing of the farmer's dinner bell. The pig never dreamed it might one day sprawl upon the big-house table.
Usage of these words is so understandably easy to confuse. When in doubt, insert "it is" or "it has" into the sentence in place of its or it's. If the sentence makes sense, then use the contraction, it's. If the sentence does not make sense, then the possessive pronoun, its, is what you're after.
It's a great day to leave a comment. If you have other helpful tips or suggestions in regard to its and it's, do tell.
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