This is the fourth part of the dif­fer­ence between series.

One of the most com­mon gram­mat­i­cal mis­takes I see is using it’s instead of its. Or vice ver­sa. Telling the dif­fer­ence is real­ly easy actu­al­ly.

It’s is a con­trac­tion. A con­trac­tion is a word formed by omit­ting or com­bin­ing some of the sounds of a longer phrase. Oth­er exam­ples include won’t, can’t, shouldn’t.

In this case, it’s actu­al­ly means “it is”.

Its, on the oth­er hand, is the pos­ses­sive form of “it”. In oth­er words, we use it to speak of some­thing that belongs to some­thing else (e.g. its ball, its dog­house, its wings).

Let me know if you have any gram­mar ques­tions, and I’ll be sure to post the ques­tion and answer here.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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