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Confusing Words: It's and Its, by Dennis Oliver


Confusing Words:
It's and Its


Many people--both native speakers of English and learners
of the language--are confused by it's and its. These two
short words sound exactly the same, but their meanings and
uses are quite different.

It's means either it is or it has. To know whether the 's
means is or has, look at the words which follow.




It's going to rain, I think. ( 's = is )

It's time to leave. Hurry up! ( 's = is )

It's cold in here! ( 's =is )

It's my turn to wash the dishes, isn't it? ( 's = is )

It's quite difficult to get a high TOEFL score. ( 's = is )

It's easy to lose track of the time. ( 's = is )

This isn't my book. It's Fernando's. ( 's = is )

When'shis birthday? It's November 1st, isn't it? ( 's = is )

It's 10:15. We have a meeting soon. ( 's = is )

It's felt by many that English spelling is crazy. ( 's = is )

It's been a long day! ( 's = has )

It's taken Bill a long time to fix his car. ( 's = has )

It's gotten cooler in the last hour. ( 's = has )

It's been raining most of the day. ( 's = has )

Oh, no! Look at my bicycle! It's got a flat tire! ( 's = has )





Its, on the other hand, is the possessive form for it:

We're reading a novel by Hemingway. Its title is
The Sun Also Rises.

I really like the way that car looks, but its price is
more than I can afford.

Have you tried the new restaurant on Elm Street?
Its name is "Marco's" and it serves Italian food.

This website is world-famous with students and
teachers of English. Its official name is "Dave's
ESL Cafe on the Web."

Please rewrite your essay, Aleksandr. Its content is
very good, but there are too many grammar and
spelling errors.


___________________________________________< /P>


Special Note:


In one example sentence above, "It's got a flat tire," it's
means it has, but the sentence is not in present perfect
tense. The idiom has got / have got means has / have.
The form for this idiom is like present perfect tense, but
it is used like simple-present-tense sentences:

It's got a flat tire. ( = It has a flat tire.)

He's got red hair. ( = He has red hair.)

I haven't got any money. ( = I don't have any money.)

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