You’re – Your; They’re – Their


The incorrect use of common, similar words is a distraction for your readers as improper usage makes a sentence puzzling and nonsensical.

Pay particular attention when searching for these errors during the copy-editing and proofreading stage of your manuscript.

Some commonly misused or confused words are listed below with an explanation of their meanings.

  • you’re:    is a contraction for the words “you are” (you are smart; you’re smart)
  • your:      denotes that something belongs to you (your car)
  • they’re:  is an contraction for the words “they are” (they are smart; they’re smart)
  • their:      denotes that something belongs to them (their car)
  • there:     refers to a place (look over there)
  • we’re:     is a contraction of the words “we are” (we are smart; we’re smart)
  • were:      is the past tense of are (they were at school then)
  • where:    indicates a place (The bathroom is where you wash your face.)
  • then:      a point in time (we were so much younger then)
  • than:      a method of comparison (Ten dollars is more than one dollar)
  • two:       the number two (self-explanatory; 2 = two)
  • to:          indicates motion (going to the store)
  • too:        also or excessively (I am going to the playground too.)
  • its:         denotes ownership (the dog looks great with its new collar)
  • it’s          is a contraction of the the words “it is” (it is hot outdoors; it’s hot outdoors)
  • whose    denotes ownership (Whose car is that?)
  • who’s     is a contraction for “who is” or “who has” (who’s it who’s got measles)

If you are looking for a copy-editor or proofreader, perhaps I can help.



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