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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.
|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:
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this webpage to learn the answers to other people’s questions.
joined together 词与连起来
contracted form 缩略形式
present perfect tense 现在完成式
possessive pronoun 表示所属关系的代词