It's Thursday, so it's time for a lesson with the English teacher!
Last week we talked about the use of the words its and it's. Remember: the word it's means "it is." And we never, ever use an apostrophe to form the possessive of a personal pronoun. As I said last week, I think people get confused about this because we DO use apostrophes to form the possessive of nouns. To form the possessive of a singular noun, we add an apostrophe + s. But pronouns are different. The rule for pronouns is to form their possessives simply by adding the s without the apostrophe.
Here's a review question for you. Is the following sentence correct?I like to have a place for everything and everything in it's place.
Answer: NO! We don't want to have "everything in it is place." The word we need is its. The possessive form of it is its.
Today's lesson is similar to last week's. Several people asked me to explain the proper use of the words your and you're.
Just like the word it, the word you is a pronoun (a word that takes the place of a noun). Once again, the rule: Never use an apostrophe to form the possessive of a personal pronoun. So the possessive form of the pronoun you is your.
- I really like your haircut!
- Your house is decorated beautifully.
- Could you move your car?
Anytime you want to indicate that something belongs to you, the word to choose is your.
The word you're is a contraction of the words you are. The apostrophe replaces the omitted letter "a." So use the word you're when you mean "you are."
- I hope you're coming to the party.
- You're doing a great job.
- We think you're a great hostess.
If you're uncertain whether to write your or you're, mentally replace it with the words you are. Is that what you mean to say? If so, choose you're.
Here's a little quiz for you:
- Is this (your or you're) house?
- I think (your or you're) the best baker I've ever met.
- (Your or You're) not going to believe what I have been through.
If you answered your to #1 and you're to #2 and #3, you've got it!
Please leave me a comment with any questions you'd like me to answer or points of grammar you'd like for me to explain. . . or even pet peeves you'd like for me to expose! I want these little lessons to address issues that would be helpful to you. If you have a particular question you'd like for me to answer, feel free to email me (richellap (at) gmail (dot) com). I'd be happy to help if I can!