Use the Grammar Detective to use "Its" and "It's" Properly
Homonyms are words that sound alike even if they are spelled different, though they may be spelled the same.
Take the words: "its" and "it's" which are practically spelled alike and yet one apostrophe makes them different.
The homonyms "its" and "it's" are a source of frustration for many as they type quickly or write hurriedly.
How can you remember which one to use when?
The word "it's" in a contraction (shortened form) of the third person singular pronoun "it" combined with the verb "is" or "has" and can easily be identified as correct or not.
E.g. It's nearly bedtime, children, so clean up now. OR
It's been three years since I last saw you.
Check whether you have used it correctly by using the expanded form, "it is" or "it has" in the sentence.
It is nearly bedtime, children, so clean up now. The expanded form of the words makes sense and is correct, so use "It's" in the first sentence.
It has been three years since I last saw you uses the expanded form of "it" and "has" and is proved correct when applied to the sentence.
"Its" is the neutral (not male or female) third (not first or second) person (the subject spoken about) singular (only one) possessive (ownership) pronoun (substituted for a noun) and attributive (pointing to the word next to it) adjective (modifier of a noun). Use "its" when you want to show something possesses something else.
E.g. The children played with the dog and crawled into its doghouse.
"Its doghouse" shows possession. If you turn the phrase around and say, 'the doghouse of it. Substitute what the 'it' is standing in for. In this case it is the dog) and have it make sense, then use the possessive "its" without the apostrophe. Remember, substitute the name of what the "it" is a pronoun for. In this case, it is the dog.