Your vs You’re

What’s the difference between your and you’re? Your presence on this page means you’re about to find out.

Your

Your is the second person possessive adjective, used to describe something as belonging to you. Your is always followed by a noun or gerund.

What is your name?

Is this your pen?

Your book is on the table.

This is your chair and this is mine.

What happened to your dog?

This is your best work ever!

Your being here is causing some problems.

I didn’t know your working late would be so difficult.

 
You’re

You’re is the contraction of "you are" and is often followed by the present participle (verb form ending in -ing).

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.

You’re welcome.

You’re the best!

 
The Bottom Line

The confusion between your and you’re occurs because the two words are pronounced pretty much the same.

The ironclad rule – no exceptions – is that if you’re able to replace the word with "you are," you’re saying you’re. Otherwise, your only choice is your.

 
Related difficulties:

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2 comments for “Your vs You’re

  1. Leonard
    27 February 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Here’s one we’ve been discussing.
    “Don’t let the company get away with treating you guys like you’re not important to the company, because you’re.”

    • lkl
      28 February 2014 at 6:13 am

      Ha, that’s a good one. I guess the problem is that you’re and the other subject pronoun contractions feel incomplete unless they’re followed by an adjective or verb: you’re happy, you’re smiling, I’ll go, etc. Same thing with noun or name + be: “I’m not tired, but John’s” – just doesn’t work. Contractions with not, like can’t, won’t, and aren’t, aren’t limited in that way.

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