Confusing Possessives and Contractions

Contractions are all about words that are made shorter by putting an apostrophe in the space where letters are missing.

One of the most common mistakes in making contractions is with you’re. It is often misspelled as your. You know I like gimmicks for remembering things. Well, two things remind me of the right way to spell these words.

you’re – This stands for you are, but the “a” is taken out.  If you are trying to say you are, then you’re is the word you want.

your – This word means that something belongs to you. I try to think of something that belongs to us as our “something,” so for something that belongs to you I use your. Notice that your has our in it?


Another real pain is whether to use its or it’s.

Think of the letters that are missing when you say it is. If you want to say it is, take out the “i” in is and put an apostrophe instead.

If you just remember that, then you will know that the other meaning for its (the possessive) has no apostrophe.

It’s (it is) time to visit the horse and brush its (ownership) coat.


they’re, there, their

The apostrophe in they’re tells you that a letter is missing, and it means they are.

To remember there, as in over there, think of not here. You will see the word here in there.

The last one, their, is an odd one to remember, but it is the possessive. “They” own something. I often see this word misspelled as thier. If you get the letters mixed up, think of their as having the word the in it. We all know how to spell the.


9 thoughts on “Confusing Possessives and Contractions

  1. Sometimes when I’m typing real fast and not really thinking about the words, I slip in a wrong one. I know this isn’t a contraction, but once I was super embarrassed when I wrote “right” for “write.”

    Liked by 1 person

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