It’s vs. its


Using a Borrowed Language

It’s (or Its) more fun in the Philippines?

Mistaking it’s for its is one of our most common errors. Here’s what to do.

1. Understand the difference between the two.

It's and its

2. If all that is confusing, first try using it is, instead of it’s or its. If the resulting sentence is wrong, then use its (possessive).

For instance: The hamster gnawed at it’s/its cage.

Solution: Use it is first. Thus: The hamster gnawed at it is cage. Since this sentence sounds wrong and since there is a noun after it’s/its, then use the possessive its: The hamster gnawed at its cage [= the cage of the hamster].

Another example: Many people say that it’s/its more fun in the Philippines.

Solution: Use it is first. Thus: Many people say that it is more fun in the Philippines. Sounds right. Therefore it’s OK…

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