Difference between Your and You’re

Key difference: The main difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ is that ‘your’ is the possessive form of you, while ‘you’re’ stands for ‘you are’. ‘Your’ should be used in the same manner as his or her. ‘You’re’ should only be used where it can be replaced in the sentence by ‘you are.’

The confusion between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ is one of the most common mistakes made in the English language. To avoid this, one should remember that the main difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ is that ‘your’ is the possessive form of you, while ‘you’re’ stands for ‘you are’. ‘Your’ should be used in the same manner as his or her. For example: This is your pen / this is his pen / this is her pen.

On the other hand, ‘you’re’ should only be used where it can be replaced in the sentence by ‘you are.’ For example: You’re going out shopping? / You are going out shopping? Basically, ‘you’re’ is a contraction. Contractions are when two words are combined into one by using an apostrophe (’). The words ‘you’ and ‘are’ are combined with an apostrophe to shorten it to ‘you’re’. Other examples of a contraction include ‘he’s’, ‘she’s’, ‘it’s’, ‘they’ve’, ‘should’ve’, ‘don’t’, ‘isn’t’, etc.

The easiest way to avoid a mistake is to write out the full version, i.e. use ‘you are’ instead of the contraction, ‘you’re’. It is better to write it out rather than make a mistake and appear to have weak grammatical skills.

Examples of ‘your’:

  • Is your stomach growling?
  • Your book is on the table.
  • I can't read your handwriting.
  • Here are your instructions for today.
  • What is your name?
  • Is this your pen?
  • This is your chair and this is mine.
  • What happened to your dog?
  • Your being here is causing some problems.

Examples of ‘you’re’:

  • You're a good friend. (You are a good friend.)
  • I don't know what you're talking about. (I don't know what you are talking about.)
  • If you’re hungry, then you should probably eat something.
  • I think you’re very smart.
  • Surely you're not serious!
  • You're going to be late.
  • Is that what you're wearing?
  • I think you're lying.
  • If you're ready, we can go.
  • I can't believe you're a doctor!
  • When you're my age, you'll understand.

Image Courtesy: curtharding.com, thisorthat.com

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