When to Use Your or You’re

By eContent Pro on Jan 30, 2017
When to Use Your or You’re

When to use your and you’re can be confusing since both words are pronounced the same way. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between each word and when it should be used.

When to Use “You’re” in a Sentence

You’re is a contraction (or short way of writing) of “you are” and has no other uses. You’re is never used to show possession in a sentence. You can find some examples of when you use you’re in a sentence below.

  • She will ask you when you’re ready.
  • You’re one step ahead of me.
  • I can’t say if you’re going to be successful or not.
  • You’re working way too much.
  • I hope you’re going to get the job done by the deadline.

When to Use “Your” as a Possessive Adjective

A possessive adjective is an adjective that is used to show ownership. It lets us know to whom the noun belongs, and it comes before a noun in the sentence.

Your is a second person possessive adjective that is used as both the singular and plural form. The sentences below demonstrate when you should use your in your writing.

  • I think you forgot your purse.
  • I appreciate your help.
  • Your book is new.
  • I think your house is incredible.
  • You need to bring your novel.

Basically, your is a possessive form of you. For example, “You forgot your scarf at the store.” “You” own the scarf in this situation. It lets us know to whom the noun belongs and comes before a noun in the sentence.

Use “Your” in a Sentence Prior to a Noun or Pronoun

  • Just give him your pen.
  • Go deliver your newspapers.
  • George is not planning to go to your house.
  • Is that your shoe in the ditch?
  • You must eat your vegetables before you can play your game.

Use “Your” in a Sentence Prior to a Gerund

A gerund is derived from a verb (ending in -ing) but functions as a noun.

  • Your timing is terrible.
  • I love your cooking.
  • Your joking is offensive to some people
  • Sally loves your writing.
  • Your laughing is disrupting the class.

Helpful Tips for Using Your and You're

If you’re able to replace your with “you are,” it should be you’re. Otherwise, your is the appropriate choice.

  • Incorrect: Your engaged.
  • Correct: You’re engaged.
  • Test: You are engaged.
  • Incorrect: You’re lollipop.
  • Test: You are lollipop.
  • Correct: Your lollipop.

Can you replace your with my?

  • Example: Your house is huge.
  • Example: My house is huge.

Both of these sentences are correct, so we have used the proper form of “your.”

  • Example: Your silly.
  • Example: My silly.

The second sentence becomes incorrect when we substitute my as a test. This lets us know that we have used the incorrect form of “your.”

“Your” is always followed by a noun, pronoun, or gerund. Again, a gerund is derived from a verb (ending in -ing) but functions as a noun. Below are a few examples of gerunds:

  • Hunting cheetahs is wrong.
  • Smoking causes an array of health issues, including lung cancer.
  • Brushing your teeth is crucial.

Practice Using Your and You're

There are various quizzes to improve your skills and help you to master this concept. You can start by completing one of the following quizzes to gauge your current knowledge.


Final “Your” and “You’re” Considerations

Using the inappropriate word may seem like a minor mistake, but it can make people think twice about you. An easy way to discount your credibility in a business is to have remarkable ideas, but fall victim to spelling and grammar issues. Reread information and have someone else read your material to make sure your and you’re are always correct. Slowing down and knowing why you are selecting your versus you’re in a sentence is essential.

If you ever find that you’re running into issues or are unsure about any grammatical details in your writing, let us help. At eContent Pro, we have trained, professional copy editors who can fully resolve all issues with your writing. They will identify and correct mistakes that go far beyond the simplicity of your or you're usage, and will ensure your writing is grammatically sound, across the board, from start to finish. Learn more about out copy editing and proofreading services.

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