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                                                 Its VERSUS It’s


Don’t make the mistake of confusing the possessive “its” with the contractive “it’s.”

“Its” is a pronoun meaning “belonging to it.” Like the other possessive pronouns (my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, ours, their, and theirs), “its” does not take an apostrophe. we use “Its” to say that something belongs to or refers to something.

For example, “The issue was so complex, all of its aspects needed an explanation.”

Conversely, “it’s” with an apostrophe is a contraction meaning “it is” or “it has.”

It is the same type of contraction such as:

a) “Can’t” for cannot;

b) “She’s” for she is.

How to Use:

Here is the simple rule: if you mean “it is” or “it has,” use “it’s” with an apostrophe, the apostrophe indicates that part of a word has been removed. Otherwise, always use “its” without the apostrophe.


a) It’s important to let justice take its course. (first “it’s” is a contraction meaning “it is,” so use the apostrophe or write it out; second “its” is possessive, so no apostrophe)

b) It’s been a long time since he visited the site. (contraction meaning “it has,” so use the apostrophe or write out the words “it has”)

c) The company will not voluntarily release its financial records. (possessive, so no apostrophe)

d) The court heard its first case this week. (possessive, so no apostrophe)


Because legal writing is a formal style of writing, however, you will rarely use contractions like “it’s.” Thus, you will normally write out “it is” or “it has” and use only the possessive “its.”


CA Milind Wadhwani  | DISA(ICAI), FAFD(Cert.), CCCA(Cert.), Research (Ph.D.) Scholar | Mobile +91 9826273333 | Mail ID: – MILIND.WADHWANI20@GMAIL.COM

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June 2024