Commonly Confused Words: Your/You’re

After ‘there/their/they’re’, the next CCW post has to be ‘your/you’re’, doesn’t it? It’s practically a law, and we grammarians love our laws. So, without further ado, I give you:

Your/You’re

‘Your’ means ‘belonging to you’. It goes with ‘our’ and ‘my’ and ‘their’.

Examples:

  • ‘That one’s yours, and these are ours.’
  • ‘You and yours.’
  • ‘Your house is tidier than mine.’

‘You’re’ is short for ‘you are’, and goes with ‘I’m’, ‘we’re’, and ‘they’re’.

Examples:

  • ‘You’re late!’
  • ‘Which one is mine?’ ‘You’re in number 42.’
  • ‘Where am I?’ ‘You’re in a room.’ (If you recognise this line, you’re probably a child of the ’80s.)

And, of course, this old favourite:

‘You’re back!’
‘What about my back?’

Boom boom.

Sidenote: Yore/Yaw/Ewer

There are a few more words that may, depending on your accent, sound a bit like your/you’re.

  • Yore means ‘the distant past’. Only really seen now in the phrase ‘days of yore’.
  • Yaw is a aeronautical term, and refers to one of the three axes of aircraft: roll, pitch, and yaw.
  • Ewer is an old word for a type of ornate water jug.

If you have suggestions for a future ‘Better English’ post, please leave a comment. And if you want more detailed, personal help with your writing, you can always request a quote.

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