Common mistake 'it' vs. 'its' after 'and'

Common Mistake: 'it' vs. 'its' after 'and'

One common mistake that many English speakers make involves the use of 'it' and 'its' after the word 'and'. This mistake often leads to confusion and can affect the clarity and correctness of your writing.

The Difference Between 'it' and 'its'

Before we delve into the mistake, let's first understand the difference between 'it' and 'its'.

'It' is a pronoun that is used to refer to a singular noun that has already been mentioned or is understood from the context. For example:

  • I have a dog, and it loves to play fetch.
  • The book was on the table, but now it's gone.

'Its', on the other hand, is the possessive form of 'it'. It is used to indicate ownership or possession by the noun it refers to. For example:

  • The cat licked its paws.
  • The company increased its profits by 20%.

The Mistake: Using 'it' instead of 'its' after 'and'

The mistake occurs when people use 'it' instead of 'its' after the word 'and'. Let's look at an example:

Incorrect: The dog wagged it's tail and barked excitedly.

Correct: The dog wagged its tail and barked excitedly.

In the incorrect example above, 'it's' is used, which is a contraction of 'it is' or 'it has'. However, since we want to indicate possession (the dog's tail), the correct form to use is 'its'.

How to Avoid the Mistake

To avoid this common mistake, always remember that 'its' without an apostrophe is used to show possession, while 'it's' with an apostrophe is a contraction of 'it is' or 'it has'.

If you are unsure, try expanding the contraction to see if it makes sense:


It's tail = It is tail (incorrect)
Its tail = The dog's tail (correct)

By paying attention to these small details, you can ensure that your writing is clear, correct, and free from common mistakes like this one.

Linguix grammar checker is a powerful tool that can help you identify and correct mistakes like these automatically. It can save you time and improve the overall grammatical accuracy of your writing.

'it' vs. 'its' after 'and' mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    My dog and it's surrounding friends.

    My dog and its surrounding friends.

  • Incorrect:
    Adelaide and it surrounding areas has hosted the Tour Down Under bicycle race.

    Adelaide and its surrounding areas has hosted the Tour Down Under bicycle race.

  • Correct:
    Yes, I was outside and it's raining cats and dogs.
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