your-youre

Your and you’re

Your and you’re

Your and you'reThis is one of the most common errors you will see on the internet, even when written by native English speakers. To begin, test yourself by deciding whether these sentences are correct or incorrect.

1. You’re looking very well – have you been on holiday? This is correct | This is not correct
Show answerThis is correct. See below for the explanation.

2. This is you’re final warning! This is correct | This is not correct
Show answerThis is not correct. See below for the explanation.

3. Your friend telephoned this morning. This is correct | This is not correct
Show answerThis is correct. See below for the explanation.

4. Your our teacher for the day, aren’t you? This is correct | This is not correct
Show answerThis is not correct. See below for the explanation.

 

Step 1: The first step towards using you’re and your correctly is to understand the difference between them.

You’re – this is a contraction of two words – you are (a subject and a verb)

Your – this is a possessive pronoun, showing belonging or ownership.

 

Step 2: The easiest way to check the correct form is to expand the contraction you’re into you are. Take a look at the sentences below.

1. You’re looking very well – have you been on holiday? > You are looking very well – have you been on holiday?

2. This is you’re final warning!  > This is you are final warning

 

Step 3: For your with meaning of possession or ownership, you should be able to replace Your with My and the sentence would still be correct.

For example:

3. Your friend telephoned this morning. > My friend telephoned this morning.

4. Your our teacher for the day, aren’t you?  > My our teacher for the day, aren’t you?

 

Now test yourself!

1. If you’re often tired, you should go to bed earlier.

Show answerThis is correct. Without the contraction, the sentence reads If you are tired

 

2. I think your smile is beautiful!

Show answerThis is correct. Changing your to my, this reads  I think my smile is beautiful.

 

3. I think your beautiful!

Show answerThis is NOT correct. Changing your to my, this reads  I think my beautiful. It should say ‘I think you are beautiful, so should be you’re

 

4. Our staff are available to answer your questions.

Show answerThis is correct. Changing your to my, this reads Our staff are available to answer my questions.

 

5. Your a lot like your brother in appearance, although you have very different personalities.

Show answerThis is NOT correct. Changing your to my, this reads My a lot like your brother in appearance…

 

6. I don’t think you’re being very kind.

Show answerThis is correct. Without the contraction, the sentence reads I don’t think you are being very kind.

 

7. Your going to have to leave soon, so you should get your coat on.

Show answerThis is NOT correct. Changing your to my, the sentence would read My going to have to leave soon, so you should get my coat on. The second your is correct, but the first one should be you’re.

 

8.  I have to say that you’re a terrible driver! Look at all the damage on your car!

Show answerThis is correct, as you can see by using the two techniques mentioned above. I have to say that you are a terrible driver! Look at all the damage on my car!

 

And to finish, here are some useful tips…

– If the word that follows is an article (a, an, the), then it should be you’re. Compare: You’re the best! Your the best!

– If the word that follows is an adjective (a describing word). then it should GENERALLY be you’re. Compare: You’re beautiful! Your beautiful.

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