While these two words contain only a meager three letters, people often get confused with the use of it’s and its. It is actually commonplace to find this error as it may result from both grammatical and typographical error.
The term it’s is a contraction or an abbreviated form of either “it is” or “it has.” This is the same with the contractions of she is and they have as “she’s” and “they’ve.”
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On the other hand, the term its the possessive form of “it”used as an attributive adjective. This form is consistent with other possessive pronouns such as “our” which is the possessive form of “we” and “his” which is the possessive form of “he.” Possessive pronouns no longer require an apostrophe since they already changed in form to denote possession.
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It would be easier to remember which word to use by using this simple tip. When in doubt, try replacing the term with “it is” or “it has” in the sentence. If it sounds right, then go ahead and use it’s. If it doesn’t seem correct, then you should opt for its.
I saw her artwork yesterday. ___ fabulous!
✓ I saw her artwork yesterday. It is fabulous!
✓ I saw her artwork yesterday. It’s fabulous!
The team lost ___ star player to a freak injury.
✗ The team lost it is star player to a freak injury.
✓ The team lost its star player to a freak injury.