About your “you’re”

Last week I covered the needless confusion between they’re, there, and their, so it seems only natural to focus on a similarly confused set of homophones: you’re and your. At least this time there are only two of them!

Once again, it comes down to the same thing: people are trying to figure out how to write the sound /jʊəɹ/ instead of spelling the word that means “belonging to you” or the one that means “you are.” There’s no confusion about which word one actually wants, so using the correct one in writing is simply a matter of learning how to spell that word, and not caring in the least what it sounds like.

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They’re there!

I hope everyone had a happy holiday, whatever their preferred holidays might be. And there we have the theme of this post. No, not holidays — they’re not what this blog is about. Words: their, there, and they’re.

So, we’ve got this sound /ðɛɚ/ and we need to figure out which spelling is correct, right? Actually, if you look at it in terms of deciding which word to use in the sentence, ignoring how it’s pronounced, you won’t have any problems at all. The word isn’t just a transcription of a sound — it means something. Once you know which meaning you need, it’s easy.

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