What is a good mnemonic rule that an English learner can use to remember the difference between its (possessive adjective: a team has started its lunch) and it's (verb: it's raining)?
I'm not sure of how good a mnemonic this is, but it's always worked for me. When proofreading, I simply remind myself:
So, when I say:
I recognize that "It's" means "It is", so I leave the apostrophe in. But when I type and proofread:
I realize that "it's" does not mean "it is"; it means "the foundation belonging to it", so I remove the apostrophe:
If you don't like my method, it's easy to find lots more on the subject.
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You just know that it's stands for it is, two words.
When reading, you just see if it is a single word or two words "linked" with an apostrophe.
For writing, you may employ this mnemonic:
A tear will resemble to write it with an apostrophe.