Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that people will notice if you misuse these word in writing, and you will be marked down if you misuse these words in a graded writing assignment.
When we speak, most of us pronounce these words exactly the same, but their meaning is quite different. This is why you’ll want to be sure and use them correctly whenever you are writing a document.
So if you are trying to decide between using Your and You’re, keep these tips in mind.
→The word Your is a possessive form. It indicates ownership of something—always. Use it to say that something belongs to a particular person: “Is that your car parked on the corner?” (Does the car belong to you?) or “The backpack with the broken strap is not mine. It is yours” (The backpack belongs to you).
→You’re (with an apostrophe) is always, 100% of the time, used as a contraction, and it simply means “you are.” Use it like this: “If you eat the last cookie, you’re going to be in trouble” (you are going to be in trouble) or “You’re not fooling anyone when you say you didn’t take the last cookie” (you are not fooling anyone). To test this usage, substitute the words “you are” in the sentence.
→Reminder: Just because you might pronounce these words similarly, this does not mean the words are interchangeable in writing.
For an extra dose of this usage tip, check out what Grammar Monster says about these words.
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