Okay, this is an easy one. I promise. Yet it’s still misused enough to warrant some of my grammatical whining, so, here we go again!
‘Its’ is a possessive pronoun. Basically, when in use, the word tells you what the subject owns when the subject does not have a definite gender. So, “He wrapped himself up in his massive stash of bologna.” is analogous to “The boulder, through the power of flight, loftily returned to its spot on the hillside.”
‘It’s’ is a simple contraction. It can mean “it is” or “it has”. And, a small example sentence for your perusal: “When La-a stepped outside, she burst into flames, screaming, ‘It’s three thousand degrees out here!’ She was corrected by the sun, who said ‘Actually, it’s four thousand and seventeen degrees. Celsius.'”
If you’re ever confused, try seeing if saying the sentence with “it is” in it makes sense. If it sounds something like “The book fell out of it is cover”, that’s wrong.
Hope this helps, although I’m fighting a losing battle that The Oatmeal is more compellingly describing.
Let The Improper Use of Its and It’s Die
Photo Credits: Here