As a long-time writer and editor, I’ve seen many a grammar mistake. One of the most common is your versus you’re. While both sound the same when spoken, the two have different meanings.
You’re is a contradiction of you are. It has no other uses. If you can’t expand it to you are in your sentence, then it’s wrong.
Here are some examples:
- The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat (Lily Tomlin).
- Doing nothing is very hard to do. You never know when you’re finished (Leslie Nielsen).
- Please ask Janice to put the garbage out while you’re away.
The word your sits before another word–usually a noun or pronoun–to show that it belongs to “you” (e.g., your dog) or is related to you (e.g., your aunt). Your is a possessive adjective.
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