Simple, clear help for your writing problems

I haven’t done a scientific study, but I suspect that misusing the words your and you’re is among the most common writing problems on the internet. It is unbelievable how often internet content creators mix up these two words.

I suspect that nearly all internet content creators can correctly explain the meanings of your and you’re. Still, these words show up incorrectly in blog-after-blog, and article-after-article.

Eliminate You’re and Your from your Writing Problems

Here’s the simple explanation:

The word you’re means you are.

Your means that which belongs to you.

Every writer owes his or her readers a promise to know this and to exercise the knowledge. If you ever have problems with your and you’re, there’s a simple trick you can use to make sure you choose correctly:

When you’re writing a sentence with the word your or you’re in it, stop and do this:

Recite the sentence out loud, replacing the word your or you’re with you are.

If the result is nonsense, use your in the original sentence.

If the test sentence makes sense, use you’re in the original sentence.

This always works!!!

Why is You’re one of Your Writing Problems?

This is a bigger question than one blog post can answer; the internet publishing arena encourages—even rewards—behavior that gives rise to writing problems. If you seem always to swap your with you’re, it could be simply because you’re working too quickly.

But there are other insidious reasons to mess up with these words. For example, your spell-checker software recognizes both your and you’re as acceptable spellings of real words. Worse: grammar-checking software can be lazy. It may flag an instance of your not because the word use is incorrect, but because the grammar-checker really doesn’t know; it alerts you heavy-handedly that your may be the wrong word choice!

So, reread everything you write before you commit it to the internet. Habitually run each your and you’re through the test I proposed above. If mistakes continue to slip through, create a cheat sheet and tape it to your monitor, or place it in some other prominent place where you can glance at it as-needed while you’re proof-reading your work.

Practice to Reduce Your Writing Problems

Here are some examples of the “you are” test in action:

In the sentence, What’s your problem? Replace your with you are. It reads, What’s you are problem? The test sentence is nonsense, so your is the correct word.

Try: If your reading this, your going to reduce you’re writing problems. The test sentence becomes, If you are reading this, you are going to reduce you are writing problems. Fixing the original sentence is a piece of cake: Replace each your with you’re and replace the your with you’re.

Enjoy these other articles to help with your writing problems:

  • Writing An Outstanding Blog Post In 5 (ok, make that 6) Easy Steps – Wether you’re blogging for fun, for fame, for money, to get your thoughts on paper (err, i mean, on computer screens), because you’re a relationship geek, or for no particular reason. You probably want people to read your stuff! …

  • Common Grammar Mistakes – I’m not a language expert. I just know some basic English. I just like to share some of the most common grammar mistakes that I know of. Actually, I also fall for these mistakes from time to time. 1. Your and You’re. …


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