it’s or its?

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Literacy
Tags: ,

After the Year 4 spelling test today we had an interesting discussion about when to use its and it’s. There was some confusion as to the difference. The explanation below is from the University of Bristol and explains the differences.

It’s is the contracted form of ‘it has’ or ‘it is’ and is used in the following ways:

"It’s been a long time since we spoke," he whispered. (it has)

"Come on," he shouted, "it’s a lovely day!" (it is)

"There is no way it’s going to be ready on time."(it is)

"It’s been ready for weeks!" (it has)


Its is the possessive form of it, meaning ‘of it’. This is possibly why the difference between it’s and its causes so many problems. Its, without an apostrophe, is a possessive form, where an apostrophe is usually required. It is similar to words like his and her, neither of which needs an apostrophe.

The building was missing its doors and windows.

The tree had lost all of its leaves.

Has your chewing gum lost its flavour?

Madrid is famous for its art galleries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s