Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'is' and 'his'?

What is the difference between 'is' and 'his'?

What is the difference between 'is' and 'his'?

His and is are easy to type incorrectly when you actually mean the other word. Here are the differences.

Is is the third-person singular form of the verb be in the present tense (e.g. relaxation is good).

His is the third-person male possessive pronoun (e.g. the dog is his) and possessive adjective (e.g. his dog).

We're pretty sure you'll be clear on these already, but just for luck, here are a few more examples.

Examples of "is":

  • The plate is on the table.
  • It's a nice day today. (it's = it is)
  • She is taller than her sister.

Examples of "his":

  • His shirt was brand new.
  • Will his grades improve?
  • I like my house, but his has a pool!

What's the correct phrase, "shook his head" or "shook is head"?

The correct phrase is "shook his head" – e.g. The teacher shook his head sadly.

Is the correct expression "on his way to" or "on is way to"?

You should use "on his way to" – e.g. He was in a good mood, and whistled on his way to the store.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Dictionary Definition of isDictionary Definition of his

Examples of is in a sentence

Old lady Metz is probably giving her an earful about us right now, though."
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts
And remember, dear, this is Paul’s school.
- The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
The plane is on its way.
- From Russia with love: a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming
Isn’t that true?”
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
This is a work of fiction.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber

Examples of his in a sentence

You almost hope that someone'll say something to you so you can jump down his throat.
- Cropper's cabin by Jim Thompson
She walked over and knelt on the grass behind his head.
- From Russia with love: a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming
C. B. Graham—The patriarch ruled his family with an iron fist.
- Secret Weapon Spouse by B. J. Daniels
Wordlessly, Dave unbuttoned his overcoat to reveal the shattering navy vest beneath.
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
He grabbed his notepad and ran over to Lucy’s desk.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber
Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.