How to differentiate “you’re” and “your” easily

Yes, we know you already know this, BUT revising is never discouraged so: “you are” versus “your.” Are you ready?

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In English, it’s easy to confuse “you’re” and “your”: they are similar in structure, phonetics and seeing a lot of people make the same mistake makes you interiorise it. However, if we go back to the basics, they’ll be easier to differentiate.


Basics of the basics. You’re stands for “you are” of the verb to be. So, the structure is Subject+verb in the present simple. That means that after “you’re” we can add either an adjective or a noun (may be preceded by an adjective).

You’re beautiful = you are beautiful = you look beautiful/you have beauty.

You’re a student = you are a student = your occupation is studying.

You’re a wonderful person =  you are a wonderful person.


Your is not a contraction, it is an independent, fully-formed word. “Your” is the second person singular and plural possessive article. That means that it always precedes a noun (which may be preceded by an adjective). It doesn’t change in singular and plural and it is not a pronoun so it cannot be used as such. For example:

A phone (one phone in general) >> The phone (one phone in particular) >> Your phone (the phone belongs to you).

Your house phone (it may belong to the whole family or just one person).

Your beautiful daughter (the person you are a parent of is beautiful).

Yours is better (pronoun, we do not know what object we are referring to).

And last friendly reminder: “ur” is the slang abbreviation of your, whereas “u’re” is the abbreviation of you’re. No, you cannot say “ure.” Remember to use them correctly!

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