Q & A of the Week 你问我答
It’s and Its / It’s 和 Its 的区别

What's the difference between it's and its?

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Fei Yang has emailed us with this week’s question. She wants to know the difference between it’s and its.


This is two words joined together – usually it and is. The apostrophe takes the place of the i in is. This kind of word is called a contraction.

So you could say it’s hot today, which is the contracted form of it is hot today.

A beach on a hot day
It’s hot today

Other contractions are things like I’ll (I will), he’d (he would) and they’ve (they have).

It’s can also be a contraction of it and has when used in the present perfect tense. The apostrophe takes the place of the h and the a in has.

For example, it’s been raining is the contracted form of it has been raining.


This form of its is a possessive pronoun. I, you, his, her, we, they are all pronouns but possessive pronouns are my, your, his, her, our and their.

I have a pen – it is my pen.
We have a house – it is our house.

Its is the possessive pronoun of it. It is used for animals, objects and basically anything we don't know the gender of. So you would say:

A dog eating food
The dog ate its food very quickly

The dog ate its food very quickly.

Look at that car – its windows are broken.

We hoped we answered your question for you Fei. If anyone has a question about the English language, we can answer it for you.

Just email questions.chinaelt@bbc.co.uk or visit this webpage to learn the answers to other people’s questions.

Glossary 词汇

joined together 词与连起来

apostrophe (英语中的)瞥号,省字号

contraction 缩略

contracted form 缩略形式

present perfect tense 现在完成式

form 形式

possessive pronoun 表示所属关系的代词

objects 宾语

gender 性别

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