CS Sealey

New Zealand-based sub-editor, writer and author

The difference between your and you’re

TLDR: Your is the possessive, you’re is the contraction of ‘you are’.

I often see these two mixed up while reading posts in social media and, depressingly, sometimes in news posts too.

You’re (contraction)—you are

‘Jeeves! You’re just the person I was looking for! Come here and help me with my jacket!’

‘I hope you’re not going to wear that to the party, Ruth!’

‘You do realise, don’t you, Harry, that you’re Undesirable Number One? You can’t just walk into Hogwarts. You’re a wanted man!’

Your (possessive)—belonging to an individual being addressed; a person in general; also used in formal titles

‘Yours is not a face I would readily find attractive.’

‘It’s strong enough to put hairs on your tongue,’ Holly promised.

‘Your Majesty, may I introduce to you the delegation from France.’

‘Lots of love, your dear friend George.’

Used together in a sentence, the two would be used thusly:

‘Charles, you’re going to be late if you don’t catch your usual train to work.’

‘Well, I was going to take your car, Mum, but you’re always so pedantic about the position of the seat, so I decided to take Dad’s car instead.’

‘Stop right there!’ George’s mother called. ‘You’re going to have an accident. Tie up your shoelaces right now!’

Now go out there and use your and you’re properly!

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