Teaching and Learning Resources from Diane Hawkins


It's or its?


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It's and its sound the same and look very similar. However, they are two very different words with different meanings.

it's is short for the words it is or it has. The apostrophe ( ' ) shows something has been missed out - the i from "it is" or the ha from "it has".

its means belonging to it - notice there is no apostrophe! Look at this example: The bird flew to its nest. The nest belongs to the bird. If you put an apostrophe in, you change the meaning. The bird flew to it's nest means the bird flew to it is nest, which doesn't make sense, does it?

Now try these. Choose which fits best into the sentence and type its or it's into the space provided. When you have finished, click on the "Finished" button at the bottom of the page to mark your work.

1) tail when it saw the cat.

2) sour now.

3) raining cats and dogs!" agreed Mrs Smith.

4) stopped," replied Tom.

5) lips when it saw the zookeeper approaching with a juicy steak.

6) a great idea," said Joe.

7) not fair!"

8) your turn next."

9) tail - you'll hurt it!"

10) too hard!"


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