Words that sound and are sometimes spelt alike (known as homonyms) are common sources of grammatical errors.

‘Your’ and ‘you’re’ are words that can often be used incorrectly. So, what’s the difference? Here’s an easy tip to get it right.

When to use your or you’re

  • Your is a possessive pronoun.
  • You’re is a contraction of “you are”.

When in doubt about whether or not you’re using “you’re” correctly, simply expand the contraction and read the sentence out using complete words. 

For example, “You’re car needs a clean” is more obviously incorrect if you spell it out as “You are car needs a clean” and “Your car needs a clean” becomes a more obvious choice.

“Your nearly there” is more obviously incorrect if you say the sentence in full as “You are nearly there”, which is abbreviated to “You’re nearly there”.

Try this tip next time you’re (you are) unsure of which word to use.