Wilma’s question: “Please send out a segment on ‘your’ versus ‘you’re.’ Almost daily, I get emails from people who answer me with ‘your welcome.’ This is one of my pet peeves! It really makes us look inept when we send out things like that.”
BizWritingTip response: I agree with you. “Your” used in place of “you’re” is a common mistake, and it makes the writer look both disrespectful and careless.
The problem is that the words sound the same. But their meanings are different. “Your” is a possessive pronoun. It will always be followed by a noun. And because it is “born possessive,” there is never an apostrophe with it.
Your expense account must be submitted tomorrow.
We enjoyed your presentation.
“You’re” is a contraction of two words: “you are.”
You’re going to be late for the meeting.
I trust you’re able to work late this evening.
Note: To check if you are using the right word, don’t use the contraction. Mentally, say “you are.” If “you are” fits in, then use the apostrophe. If it doesn’t, then use “your.”
I think you are qualified for the job = I think you’re qualified . . . .
You are meeting was a success. (This thought makes no sense. Therefore, the words cannot form a contraction.) Correct: Your meeting was a success.
You are welcome. You’re welcome.