You’re right and your wrong

by Sharmila Gautama

You’re at work and when you punch in for the day you realise you’re late. Your supervisor finds out and is upset that you’re late again. You try to explain to him, saying that you’re really making an effort to be on time. But, today your car just didn’t start.
Your supervisor refuses to accept any excuses and says, “You’re fired! Clear out your desk.”

This conversation can be quite hard to follow, if you don’t know the difference between your and you’re.

Many times employees, including senior members, fail to understand the difference between the two and use one for the other. The two are not interchangeable! While this may go unnoticed in verbal conversations – in your defense, they do sound the same – the error becomes apparent in written communication, especially emails.

While your indicates possession, you’re is the contraction of you are. It seems relatively simple doesn’t it?

Your supervisor
Your car
Your desk
Here your is used as a possessive adjective, indicating ownership.

You’re late
You’re fired
Here you’re is used as the contraction of you and are. You are late and you are fired.

Remember, your and you’re are NOT interchangeable. When in doubt, replace the word with you are. If it makes sense then you’re saying you’re. If it doesn’t, then your only choice is your!