Should I use 'its' or 'it’s'?

The word, ‘it’s’, with an apostrophe, is a contraction of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. When you want to say ‘it is’ or ‘it has’, use an apostrophe. Guide to Grammar and Style Examples:
  • It’s a nice day.
  • It’s your right to refuse the promotion.
  • It’s time to move on.
  • It’s been great talking to you.
  • It’s a powerfully expressive poem that proclaims the strength of Fidel Castro.
  • Apple left little doubt that it’s poised to reveal the new product at an event in San Francisco.
  • The business began in June, and since then, it’s been booming.
The word, ‘its’, without an apostrophe, is the possessive of the pronoun ‘it’. When you want to indicate ‘possession’ or ‘ownership’ don’t use the apostrophe. Walden University Grammar Handbook Examples:
  • The dog hurt its paw.
  • The school celebrated its tenth anniversary.
  • There is a general sense that the United States and its allies have limited leverage.
  • Columbia University seems to have forgotten its core values.
  • Most of its funding comes from federal grants with very little oversight.

Which is correct, ‘Its’ or ‘it’s’?

Whether you should use ‘Its’ or ‘it’s’ depends upon what you want to say!
  • Incorrect: Its very late to go to work.
  • Correct: It’s very late to go to work.
  • Incorrect: The glass is in it’s rack.
  • Correct: The glass is in its rack.
  • Incorrect: Its always sunny in Florida.
  • Correct: It’s always sunny in Florida.
  • Incorrect: The dog is in it’s house.
  • Correct: The dog is in its house.
  • Incorrect: Its been five months.
  • Correct: It’s been five months.

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Example sentences which use ‘its’

  • This cheese is past its expiration date.
  • The flag is on its pole.
  • This book is better than its cover would suggest.
  • The elephant is in its zoo.
  • The milk is in its container.
  • This pillow is too big for its case.
  • This frog is too small for its aquarium.
  • The ball is in its bin.
  • The fridge is making its noise.
  • The glass is in its cabinet.
  • This house is more expensive than its neighbors.
  • The plant is in its pot.
  • The drink is in its bottle.
  • The ice is in its tray.
  • The bird is in its house.
  • The bear is in its cave.
  • The bee is in its hive.
  • The spoon is in its drawer.
  • It was noteworthy for its Baja Reef concept, a first-of-its-kind swim-through aquarium featuring a wide array of sea life.
  • The Heat and Dust Project is a first-of-its-kind dynamic book as the couple used Facebook to document their journey as it was underway.

Example sentences which use ‘it’s’

  • It’s cold in here.
  • It’s been a long time since you arrived.
  • It’s hot outside.
  • It’s been an unforgettable day.
  • It’s always been a dream of mine.
  • It’s a good day for sailing.
  • It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • It’s late to wake up.
  • It’s never been this cloudy.
  • It’s always raining.
  • It’s nice in the house.
  • It’s been two years.
  • It’s a nice car.
  • It’s always sunny in Philadelphia.
  • It’s a great idea.
  • It’s too nice outside.
  • It’s fun to go to the fair.
  • It’s something you'll never forget.
University of Illinois Grammar Handbook

Use of ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ in American English

This Ngram indicates the use of ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ in American books, journals, and magazines published from 1800 to 2000.

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