So, its and it’s are both words, right? Does that mean you can move the apostrophe around and create its’?
If you’re asking that question, you’ve come to the right place! This article will explain all you need to know about its’.
Is its’ a Word?
Its’ is not a word. It is never correct, and you should completely avoid using it. It’s is correct as a contraction of “it is.” Its is correct as the possessive form (showing “it” owns something). Its’ is a combination of the two, which makes no sense in English.
Here are a few examples of the three forms mentioned so far:
- Correct: It’s good that you were able to find your way here.
- Correct: That toy is its favorite toy!
- Incorrect: I’m not sure what its’ trying to tell me.
You should never place the apostrophe after the “s” in its’. However, it’s a fairly common mistake for English learners, so it would help to clear it up.
With standard English nouns, you have two main possessive forms. There’s the singular possessive form and the plural possessive form.
Let’s use the noun “dog” to demonstrate this idea:
- Singular possessive: Dog’s
- Plural possessive: Dogs’
As you can see, in the plural possessive form, you add an s’ to the end of the noun you used. While this is true for standard nouns, it is not true for pronouns.
“It” is a pronoun. The possessive form of “it” is “its.” There is no apostrophe used. Therefore, there is never a time when its’ is correct.
Keep reading if you want a full breakdown of the correct forms of its’. This article will look at “it’s” and “its” as correct constructs.
“It’s” is a contraction of “it is.” It’s most common in informal English, where formal rules aren’t as necessary.
Here are some examples of how it works:
- I’m not sure if it’s the best idea for you to do that right now.
- Please stop! It’s not healthy for you to keep being this annoying!
To check whether “it’s” is correct in a sentence, you simply need to replace it with the long-form “it is.”
- It’s over.
- It is over.
As long as you can replace “it’s” with “it is” and the sentence still makes sense, you have used the contraction correctly.
There is no possession involved when using “it’s.” While the apostrophe might throw you off at first, it’s worth remembering that pronouns do not use apostrophes in possessive forms.
“Its” is the possessive form of “it.” You should use this form when referring to an object owned by “it.”
- That is its only hope! I’m not so sure we should take that away.
- Its ball has gotten wedged under the couch! Help me get it up!
“Its” simply shows that “it” owns something.
You can also apply the same logic to other pronouns in English. For example:
- His / He
- Hers / She
- Theirs / They
Notice how none of the possessive pronoun forms have apostrophes in them. This is standard practice when using possessive pronouns.
Its’ is never correct. You should avoid using it because it’s a confusion of two correct forms, it’s and its.
Its is the correct possessive form. It refers to an object owned by “it.”
It’s is a contraction. So, you should use it as an informal short form of “it is.”