What Spell Check Won’t Tell You: The Difference Between Your and You’re


It seems that my most popular post to date has been the one I wrote on the difference between its and it’s.  This tells me that managers are looking for ways to improve their writing and communication skills.  Not being one to overlook the obvious, I thought I would write a post about the difference between your and you’re.

I’ve been reading blogs and blog comments so much lately that my eyes are almost crossed, but one thing that does jump out at me is the tendency for many writers to confuse the two words your and you’re.

Remember the rule for its and it’s?  This one is almost the same.

If you can substitute the words “you are” in the sentence, use the apostrophe.  For example, “You’re reading my blog” can also be expressed as “You are reading my blog.”

If the words “you are” make no sense whatsoever as a substitution, do not use the apostrophe.  For example, “You’re blog is fascinating,” sounds fine, but makes no sense when you substitute it with  “You are blog is fascinating.”  This is the place to use “your”, as in “Your blog is fascinating.”

Your choice of words makes all the difference, and you’re the one to make that choice.

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