How to use YOUR and YOU’RE Correctly

difference between your and you're

This is another post in the English Grammar series, where I write about English grammar – words misusage, common grammatical errors, words commonly misspelled and so on. Click on English Grammar to access all the posts in the series.

Today, I’ll be talking about the difference between your and you’re. Like many other pairs of commonly misused words, the misuse of these ones also arose from how we pronounce them.

However, “your” and “you’re” do NOT have the same meaning and so CANNOT be used interchangeably. One is used to indicate ownership while the other is a contraction of two words.

ALSO READ: Meaning of Acronyms Relating to Nigeria

Difference between YOUR and YOU’RE

When to use YOUR

“Your” is a possessive adjective used to indicate ownership and is always immediately followed by a noun. That is, whenever you use “your” in a sentence, you must follow it with a noun.

You should only use “your” when you want to talk about the ownership or possession of something.

Example: This is your pen.

Pen, in the example above, is a noun and you’d notice it came immediately after “your” and “your” is an adjective – possessive adjective – indicating whose pen it is. 

More examples:

  1. Is that your car?
  2. There is a stain on your shirt.

Did you notice that nouns followed “your” immediately? If you didn’t, please go and check again.

Tip: Car and shirt are nouns.

ALSO READ: Difference Between ITS and IT’S

When to use YOU’RE

You’re is a contraction of two words: you and are. “You’re” is appropriate for use only where “you are” is appropriate because they are both the same thing and have the same meaning.

It is very wrong and silly to use “your” in place of “you’re.” Please, master this very well.


Consider the two examples below to see how you’re is used

  1. Incorrect: Your not serious.

    Correct: You’re not serious.

  1. Incorrect: Your sick.

    Correct: You’re sick.

Now try this quiz…

1. ___ cloth is dirty.

2. ___ sitting on my bag.

3. Is that ___ bag?

4. ___ welcome.

5. Let me know when ___ ready.

Find the answer to the quiz at the end of the post.

Cheats to help you when confused…

CHEAT 1: If you’re confused about which one to use, see if a noun will follow the word (or you want to talk about ownership), if there is, YOUR is the right word. If there isn’t (or you want to talk about someone), YOU’RE is the word to use.

CHEAT 2: When you’re confused about the right one to use, try seeing if “you are” sounds right. If it does, use “you’re” and if it doesn’t, use “your,” but remember it must be talking about ownership.

ALSO READ: Ranks in the Nigerian Army


  • YOU’RE is the contraction of you and are and they mean the same thing.
  • YOUR is a possessive adjective used to indicate possession or ownership.

I wrote a post on the misuse of ITS and IT’S and some collations you’ll find helpful, check them out.

Answer to Quiz

1. Your

2. You’re

3. Your

4. You’re

5. You’re

If you miss any one, please go over the post again so as to understand the difference between the two words perfectly.

Have questions? Please ask in the comment section.

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