Your Versus You’re. There, Their and They’re

This is the latest in our English Grammar series. Today, we will talk about some common errors that speakers of other languages make when they write English. This might be helpful to English speakers too!

Your versus You’re.

People often get your and you’re confused.
Your is possessive. It means the object in question belongs to you.
You’re means that you are. Think of the apostrophe as being a surrogate for an a. You’re is just a contraction of “You are.”

Examples of your versus you’re.

  • Your lips are red.
  • You’re very tall.
  • Your cat is sleeping.
  • You’re going to work tomorrow.
  • Your native language is Russian?
  • You’re a Russian Speaker?

There, Their and They’re.

There is a description of where an item is. Think of it as changing the “W” in “Where?” to a “T” when you know the location of the item.

    • “Where’s the dog?”
    • “It’s over there!”

Their is the same as your (above), but when the object belongs to two people.

    • “Who’s dog is it?”
    • “It is their dog!”

Remember this by thinking of “They” + “Your” = Their.

They’re is a combination of “They” + “Are.” It’s almost the same as “You’re” but when you’re talking about two people, and not the person you’re talking to.

So, “They’re going to the shops” means “They are going to the shops.” You just swap the ‘ with an “a.”

  • They’re going to the shops.
  • There is the football.
  • Their shoes need cleaning.
  • They’re probably on happy.

In one sentence, here are all three with different uses:
They’re on their way there.
Another example:
“It’s not clear where they’re going to take their dog for a walk, but they like the park, so I think it will be there.”

Conclusion

The rules above are quite simple, but they give a lot of learners trouble. They also confuse many English speakers! they are a case of the attention being in the detail. Your versus You’re and Their, There and They’re are simple once you understand the rules, and they make a lot of difference when it comes to being understood when communicating in written English.

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