Word Confusion: Yore vs You’re vs Your

Posted September 18, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 22 July 2017

ARRRRGGGGHHHH! This is one of the worst word confusions! I hate this one, especially since it’s so easy to NOT make this mistake. What are you people thinking!

It makes me so nuts, annnddd I’m gonna get snarky here, so take this with a grain of salt.

Obviously you’re is a contraction. That apostrophe is a pretty big tip-off. So, what’s the rule about contractions? Replace that apostrophe with the letter it represents. In this case, it’s an a, which means you’re is you are. Nothing like your. Which has no contractions.

Your options are limited, and you are going to have to take my word for it, and suck it up, baby.

NOTE: Yore was added 22 July 2017.

The Contraction for You Are The Possessive Your
You’re next exam is scheduled for this Friday.

“You are next exam?” I don’t think so.

Your next exam is scheduled for this Friday.

That makes sense. It is an exam you are taking, which makes it yours, and “your” is possessive.

I just voted for you’re photo.

No, actually “you are not a photo”.

I just voted for your photo.

Well, yes, it is a photo of you, so it belongs to you. It’s “your” photo.

I hope you’re sure about this.

“You are sure”, aren’t you?

I hope your sure about this.

It really isn’t possible to possess a “sure”.

I think you’re very smart.

“I think you are very smart” works for me.

I think your very smart.

Um, maybe if the sentence were re-worded: “Your smarts are amazing.”

Well, okay, it’s not a great sentence, but at least you are owning your intelligence.

I haven’t seen you’re sister today.

“You are sister”? Nah, I don’t think so.

I haven’t seen your sister today.

Again, a possessive moment. She’s “your” sister, not his.

Remember to look both ways when you’re crossing the road.

“…you are crossing…”

Remember to look both ways when your crossing the road.

When did you come to possess a crossing?

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

If you found this post on “Yore vs You’re vs Your” interesting, consider tweeting it to your friends. Subscribe to KD Did It, if you’d like to track this post for future updates.

Return to top

Yore You’re Your
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Merriam-Webster; (un)Enlightened English

Women in bathing suits outside of a bathing machine, from 1902 stereopticon card

“Bathing Machine Gals” was scanned by Infrogmation from an original card in his own collection and previously uploaded to en:Wikipedia 02:40, 18 July 2003. It is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Women’s bathing suits in days of yore.

An invitation with a yellow background, a pale blue butterfly and lots of scrolls and vines scattered across it

“You’re Invited” by Artsy Bee is in the public domain, via Pixabay.

This is your invitation, and you are invited.

Scrabble tiles spell out Live Your Dream

“Live Your Dream” by Alexas_Fotos is in the public domain, via Pixabay.

Part of Grammar:
Plural for noun: yore
Pronoun + Second Person Singular Simple Present Verb, to be = Present Continuous Verb Adjective; Possessive Pronoun, a.k.a., Possessive Determiner

Your changes to yours if a noun does not follow the your

[Literary] Of long ago or former times (used in nostalgic or mock-nostalgic recollection)

Time past

Contraction for you are Possessive form of you

Of, belonging to, or associated with you

Belonging to or associated with an unspecified person or people in general

[Informal] Used to indicate all things or people of a certain type

[Capitalized Your] Used when addressing the holder of certain titles
[British; informal intensifier] Your actual

[Early Modern English] Thy (Use before a noun beginning with a consonant or consonant sound; similar to using the indefinite article a.)

[Early Modern English] Thine (Used before a noun beginning with a vowel or vowel sound; similar to using the indefinite article an OR when indicating that something is “absolute and understood”.)


Belong to or associated with the person or people whom the speaker is addressing, or to a person in general

  • [Dated; chiefly in commercial use] Your letter

Used in formulas ending a letter

Usually used in the phrase of yore

In days of yore, we didn’t have cellphones. Or microwaves.

Aye, ’twas a great empire in days of yore.

“Like the soap operas of yore, Marvel has replaced major and minor characters in their films as necessary.” – Rich Goldstein, “The Coming Civil War: Iron Man Vs. Captain America 3

You’re going out, now?

You know you’re a nut, right?

You’re losing weight.

You’re the very devil, you are.

You’re certain that’s how it goes?

If you’re healthy, you’ve got it all.

You’re the worst contestant ever.

You’re how old?

Blow your nose.

Let’s go to your house.

Is this thy first taste of freedom?

The path is on your left heading north.

This lotion is for thy head only.

Your part-time worker is becoming a problem.

Here is your actual automatic tin-opener.

Is that your toy?

Doesn’t it just break your heart?

Is that yours?

Yours truly,

Up yours, buddy.

The choice is thine.

“Deny thy father and refuse thy name;” – Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

It’s no business of yours.

Mr. Smythe has sent me yours of the 15th inst. regarding the vacancy.

Yours sincerely, John Watson

Yours, Jim Lindsay

Your Majesty

Your Eminence

Personal Pronoun: thee, thou, ye, you Second Person Singular Pronoun: yourself, yourselves
History of the Word:
Old English geāra, geāre is of unknown origin. First known use: 1590 Pre-900 Old English ēower, a genitive of , is of Germanic origin and related to the German euer.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

Return to top

Pinterest Photo Credits:

Staunton Chess Set is Lee Daniel Crocker’s own work and in the public domain, while Klasslan on IT High School in Skovde is Kaj’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; both are via Wikimedia Commons.