In writing, many people wonder if they should use “Your” or “You’re.” The words “Your” and “You’re” are homophones, which are words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Knowing how to use them correctly requires only a bit of practice.

Difference Between “Your” and “You’re”

The word "Your" is a possessive pronoun, which indicates that something belongs to another person. The word "You're" is a contraction of the words "you" and "are." When deciding between “You’re or “Your,” use this little trick: spell out the contraction of "You're" to "you are" and then use "you are" in the sentence. If the sentence makes sense, then "You're" is the correct choice. If the sentence doesn't make sense, then "Your" is the correct choice.

When to Use "Your"

In the sentence "Your mother is waiting for you," the possessive pronoun "Your" shows that the mother in the sentence belongs to you. In this example, if you were to write "You are mother is waiting," you can see that this doesn’t make sense.

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When to Use "You're"

In the sentence "You're going to upset your mother," the word "You're" is the correct word. You can see how the word "You're" spelled out to become "You are" indicates that the speaker is going to upset someone's mother. In the second part of the sentence, you can see how "your" indicates that the "your" belongs to someone's mother.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Jana Sosnowski holds Master of Science in educational psychology and instructional technology, She has spent the past 11 years in education, primarily in the secondary classroom teaching English and journalism. Sosnowski has also worked as a curriculum writer for a math remediation program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from the University of Southern California.