Tip: Stop confusing its and it's

It's or its: cf. he's or his

How do you know when its needs an apostrophe? This is one of the commonest errors — but you can get this right!

Here's a new way to remember the difference.

Its and it's belong to two different families. One family has apostrophes, the other one doesn't.

Apostrophe family: I'm, you're, he's, she's, it's, we're, they're.
Non-apostrophe family: my, your, his, her, its, our, their.

To check whether an apostrophe is needed, run through the family tree.

  • He's fine. She's fine. It's fine. (All need an apostrophe.)
  • His hat. Her hat. Its hat. (No apostrophe.)

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Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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