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Your Fault or You’re Fault?

By Judy Vorfeld

Your and you’re are two of the most com­monly mis­un­der­stood words in the Wide Wide World.

“Your” is the pos­ses­sive form of the word “you.” It’s used as a mod­i­fier before a noun, e.g., “Thanks for your letter.”

“Your” means some­one owns or has some­thing: your car, your Web site, your atti­tude. Examples: “Are your sales going through the roof?” … “When will you see your friend, Peggie Brown?” … “Did Will Bontrager do your scripting?”

“You’re” is a com­bi­na­tion of “you” and “are.” When you see that apos­tro­phe, think “you are.” Examples: “You’re headed in the right direc­tion” … “You’re wonderful.”

Why do so many peo­ple get con­fused when using these words? Because they see the apos­tro­phe and think of pos­ses­sion. In the case of “you’re,” the apos­tro­phe does not mean pos­ses­sion, as it does with so many other words.

Use both words in the same sen­tence: “You’re tal­ented, and I like your style.”

Recap: You’re means “you are,” while “your” means own­er­ship.
If some­one is cor­rect, say, “You’re right.“
If some­one needs direc­tions, say, “To your right.”


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