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Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

its, it’s

Even experienced writers misuse these words if they are not paying close attention.

Its is the possessive form of it, and is the correct spelling if his or her can be substituted.

  • Canada relies on its exports to increase its prosperity.
  • The puppy chased its (his) tail until it (he) crashed into the sofa.
  • My boat is fast, but its (her) jib is worn.

It’s is a contraction of it is or it has. Write it’s when it is or it has is intended.

  • It’s (or It is) a miracle that Samina survived the rapids after capsizing her canoe.
  • It’s a girl!
  • It’s (or It has) been an exciting experience to bicycle across Canada.