Global communications in English
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Is it its or it’s?

itsDon’t be confused by the fact that ’s is used for the possessive of nouns (the book’s cover, John’s coat). It behaves differently because it is a pronoun: think of its as the partner of the possessive pronoun his (‘of him’) – which, as you know, also has no apostrophe.

Its means ‘belonging to it’:

Its colour is bright green.
You can’t tell a book by its cover.

It’s is short for it is or it has:

It is:

It’s late.

It’s over.

It has:

It’s never happened before.
It’s ruined everything.


©2015 Baxter Publishing, Hilversum, The Netherlands

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