Writing 101: You're Your (Own Enemy)

It happens every single day without fail. I get on Facebook to link a post or put up a photo, and I see it: your. And every time I see it, the word is being used the wrong way. As an author, you should always be ever-aware of word possessiveness -- whether you're Tweeting or Facebooking or writing a novel (or writing an email to your own spouse). If I see you using your the wrong way, I'll never read any of your books. And I'm going to start a movement to get others to join me on this blanket ban. And I'm going to succeed...because I'm right. 


Don't get me wrong; I understand why it's confusing. Your isn't an easy word to know. It's possessive, but it doesn't have an apostrophe. That could blow anybody's mind. Then there's you're, spelled almost the same way and pronounced exactly the same. Neither of these words have anything to do with yore, but that word exists as well. I'm pointing it out because it sounds the same, and it's a fun word. 

But that's moot. The point is, you'd better use your the right way. Once you can, you won't use you're the wrong way, either. 

Your is a possessive word. When you say it, you're talking about an object that belongs to you. Examples:

Is this your favorite song? 

Wasn't that your brother?

Who said your hairstyle is the cutest? 

Usually to make something possessive you're required to add 's. Example: That was Stacey's dress. But when it comes to you, you don't add an apostrophe. It's confusing because you're exists, and there's an apostrophe in that. But here's what you've got to remember about you're: it's not one word. It's two. 

You're the biggest jerk in the world.

Who said you're the boss of me?

I don't know what you're talking about. 

You see, every time you see you're what you're actually seeing is you are

You are the biggest jerk in the world.

Who said you are the boss of me?

I don't know what you are talking about. 

Two words. You're and your are, therefore, not interchangeable. I can prove it with more examples: 

Is this you're favorite song? 

Wasn't that you're brother?

Who said you're hairstyle is the cutest? 

 Replace you're with you are in these examples, and you'll see how wrong it all is: 

Is this you are favorite song? 

Wasn't that you are brother?

Who said you are hairstyle is the cutest?

Learn how to use your and you're the right way, and you won't go wrong when it comes to the correct forms of you. It's a mistake that's made by people every day...but it should never be made by an author. As an author, it's your job to use words to paint a picture. You make words beautiful...so write them down right.

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