Basic Skills

 

Welcome to your first lesson on "easily confused words". These are words that sound the same but are spelled differently.

In today's lesson, you'll study the difference between its and it's. You'll find similar lessons scattered throughout this course.

Its / It's

its

belonging to it

  • That dog just walked on its back legs.
  • That store is having its back-to-school sale.
  • My car has a mind of its own.

it's

it is

  • Guess what? It’s my birthday!
  • Do you know if it’s four o’clock yet?

it has

  • It’s been driving me crazy.
  • I think it’s taken the waiter twenty minutes to come back.

 

Caution!

Usually, when we want to show that something belongs to something else, we form the possessive by adding "apostrophe s"—(that is, 's)—to the name of the person (or thing) that owns it. For example:

  • a bike
  • Wilma's bike

Thus, it would be logical to conclude that it's means that something belongs to it. However, this is not the case. It's is actually a contracted form of it is, and the possessive form of it does not have an apostrophe.

It's just a weird exception to the rule about forming possessives by adding "apostrophe s".

 

Instructions for the Quiz

Fill in each blank with its or it's.

Quiz