Its and It's

What is the difference between's... and ...its...?

→It's← (with an apostrophe) always means it is or it has. It is a contraction (which we avoid in academic essays). Therefore, it is unlikely that you would use it in your essay - ever.

→Its← (with no apostrophe) is either a possessive adjective, or a possessive pronoun, and they already mean ownership. That is why they are called possessive - they never use an apostrophe.

Note: "its", "his", and "whose" appear on both lists (which is sometimes confusing when you're trying to work out what role they may have in your sentence).
Look at how it's and it's working differently in the following example sentences.

I would like to catch the bus to work but it's not convenient.

Near Eastern politics had experienced throughout its history a number of political systems.

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns such as mine, hers, his, its, theirs, ours...

Possessive pronouns are very similar to possessive adjectives. They also have the concept of ownership embedded within the meaning so they never need an apostrophe.

He placed his hand in hers, and they walked quietly away. Victory was theirs.

Whose book is this? If it is yours then someone has stolen ours.

Apostrophes replacing missing letters

Apostrophes in place of a letter (informal):
Sometimes apostrophes are used to indicate that some letters have been removed from a word.

The government should've seen the riots coming, but they didn't.

As we've shown in our research, it's difficult to teach non-verbal aspects of a language.

The protest movement gained new impetus worldwide in the '60s.

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