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Confusing word choices

Its v it’s v its’

Word choice and avoiding confusion – here's my quick tip on how to differentiate between its and it's

First, be assured its’ isn’t a word – and should never be used.

The other two? A little confusing – especially when you so often see them used incorrectly. Here’s the explanation.

Its

In most cases, apostrophes indicate ownership – possession. However its is a rare exception. Its is the possessive form of it.

  • The CEO resigned as soon as the company lost its main investor.

It’s

The only time an apostrophe should appear is to signify a contraction (abbreviation) of it is or it has.

  • It’s been a week since we met, so it’s time to follow up with a phone call.

Tip: To check you’ve used the correct word, spell any abbreviated words out in full. You’ll know immediately if you’ve got it wrong, eg:

Incorrect

  • The CEO resigned as soon as the company lost it’s main investor.
  • The CEO resigned as soon as the company lost it is main investor.

Download the entire list of ‘confusable’ solutions.
Keep it handy and be confident whenever you face a word conundrum.

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