Your or you’re

By: Alison R Bowyer  October 2016

Bite-size writing tips for small business owners.

Do you struggle with the use of your and you’re?

Lots of people do. I even spotted the wrong version being used in a blog about writing good quality content! So, for those of you who are unsure:

You’re is just a shorter way of saying you are. For example:

You’re always so helpful.

You’re a great friend.

You’re going to frighten away potential clients if you don’t proofread.

Okay, I’ve over emphasised the point on the last example!

Your is about possession. What the hell does that mean? I hate explanations like that too, it’s like being back in English class. And some grammar rules are there to be broken (I’m doing that right now!)

So instead of boring you with a long-winded explanation that you’ll probably forget, I’m going to show you some examples instead.

Your green top matches your eyes.

It’s your turn next.

Isn’t about time you did your tax return?

If you’re struggling to remember which one to use, just read the sentence back to yourself and use the words you are instead of your.

It will be pretty obvious whether that works or not

For example,

Your you are green top matches your eyes.

It’s your you are turn next.

See what I mean? When you say you are, it’s obvious that it doesn’t work in the context of these sentences. So the right word to use is your.

It’s always important to proofread your work. A spell-checker won’t necessarily pick up mistakes like these, as they’re not spelt incorrectly. So it’s worth taking your time to thoroughly check what you’ve written. Ask a friend or colleague to help out (or hire a proofreader).

The beauty of writing for the web is that you can always go back and correct mistakes.

There’s a big difference between a sloppy piece of work that’s littered with mistakes and a carefully crafted article where a small typo has slipped through, so don’t beat yourself up if this happens.

But do change it quickly before anyone else notices!

Alison

Alison is a Freelance Copywriter based in Milton Keynes. She specialises in web content and business blogging. For more information about Alison, click here.

 

 

 

 

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