"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, April 29, 2011

Your, You’re, Yours, and Your’s

As an editor, it is very frustrating to continually see the misuse of “you” words. PLEASE learn the difference or risk losing the attention of an editor/agent/publisher.
Your - the second person possessive adjective – it refers to ownership. It will always be followed with a noun.
Your manuscript could use some editing.
Will you finish your project today?
Are you writing for your age group?

You’re - a contraction for “you” and “are”.
You’re going to miss the last deadline.
You’re going to be a published author.
You’re welcome.

Yours - the second person possessive pronoun - it replaces "your" + noun.
Is this yours or theirs?
I can't find mine, but yours is on the table.
Yours is a better idea.

Your’s - may be written by many, but it is incorrect. I suppose this comes from the fact in most
other words, 's indicates possession, so English speakers sometimes think yours should be spelled your's. They are wrong. Yours should never have an apostrophe.


mooderino said...

Your and you're always messes me up. I know which is which, but when I'm typing it sort of flips back and forth without warning. Annoying if I miss it and then I look dumb (even more than usual.

Moody Writing

Unknown said...

Oh this is one of my pet peeves too. Glad you wrote about this.

Cherie Reich said...

Great post! Your, you're, and yours bugs me too when used wrong...same as it's and its.

Eric W. Trant said...

Who's and whose, it's and its, there they're and they're.

I can excuse these in moderation, owing to typos (who hasn't misused them and missed it on edit), but my worst peeve is the misuse of "you and I."

Our middle school grammar teachers drilled into us that you ALWAYS say "you and I," and forget to mention that you don't always say it that way. Sometimes it's "you and me."

There are a couple of songs that do this, notably the "Life is a Highway" song that mentions "There's a distance between you and I."

I can't listen to that verse. I have to change the radio. I had a hard time writing it and I don't want to read it again.

It's between you and me! Between US!


If I could mandate nothing else it would be that every writer learn to properly use that verse.

I would drop, without hesitation, any manuscript that made this error, and if it were a book I purchased I would likely put it to flame.

But that's just between you and I.


- Eric

Stuart Nager said...

I agree with Eric: the other one that bothers me: their, there, they're... students just never seem to get that one right. Their allways riting in text, and who's too blame, yeah? ;)

Sylvia Ney said...

Eric - you're too funny! It's true though - I've heard of editors throwing a MS out because of these mistakes an author made on page one.

Tara Tyler said...

I'm lazy, but I proof read. I hate it when I make silly mistakes! The misuse of possesive pronouns/contractions is a pet peeve of mine too.
Happy y day =)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Sometimes I cringe when I see those misuses ... especially when it's me doing it. My brain knows the difference but I have these oppositionally defiant fingers. Proofing is critical.

anthony stemke said...

I like to think I use the language correctly (you & I at the beginning of a sentence and you & me at the end), but refresher courses such as these are nice.

Thank You.

Amy Wood said...

Great post today! It can be easy to screw it up if you aren't paying attention. Thanks!

Rosalind Adam said...

As a teacher it infuriates me. It's really not that complicated either, is it!

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

Thanks for the lesson.

Anonymous said...

So many people make these mistakes....thanks for choosing to post on this.

Nofretiri said...

Sometimes I'm quite happy that I can write in German! Some say, it's more difficult than English, but when I see examples like that, I'm not quite sure! :-)

That's why I now say: Ein schoenes Wochenede! *g*
Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing

Unknown said...

Oh, these REALLY tick me off! I can't believe how often I see "your" instead of "you're". Thank you for posting about this to remind people!

Anonymous said...

This is a good lesson. As is affect/effect, their/they're/there, etc. ;)

Maggie said...

Haha this is great! Thanks for stopping by to my blog - I'll be sure to check out some of your earlier posts too. Today's made me smile. I wrote something similar this month: http://mychildisveryadvanced.blogspot.com/2011/04/grammar.html

Anonymous said...

Wonderful explanation of you words. Thank you!

Zoanna said...

I really don't understand why the difference between "your" and "you're" is so hard to understand. I can understand "your's" moreso, but I've always taught my kids and writing
students that if you don't write "his" with an apostrophe, don't put it in "hers" or "yours" or "theirs," either.

The other thing that bothers me is the misuse of "myself" in speaking or writing. "Please give the money to either Roger or myself." No, "...to Roger or me." Do people think it sounds more formal or less selfish or what?

Unknown said...

Sylvia ~
I had thought of doing a post on the same thing for "Y"...glad I didn't. You did a much simpler version of it than I would've...very good! Thanks for the post :~)


A Girl and Her eBooks said...

Great post.

Hope said...

commonly confused, for sure! bothers me when I see this too
thank you

and thank you for your comment and following. looking forward to staying connected :)

Amanda Trought said...

Sylvia, great post, often overlooked. Thanks for your visit. Looking forward to future posts. Stay blessed. Amanda

Craig Edwards said...

One of my pet peeves too! And just to get your blood pressure up: You're post is just the kind of thing your always doing!

Anonymous said...

Its - whoops - it's infuriating! Their, er they're not paying attention to you're, I mean your lessons!
Another one that gets me is using 'that' when it should be 'who'. A person is NOT an inanimate object! But that's a mistake that's so ingrained, I just cringe and let it go.

l'anglais said...

I have heard that when used as valediction your's is considered a contraction of "your servant"

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