JS Tip 205: From the Writing Workshops: You’re, Your, Who’s, and Whose

The words can be confusing and frustrating, but there’s a theme among them. 

You’re and Your

You’re is a contraction, a combination of “you” and “are.” “I see  you’re fond of Scottish athletics.”  Substitute “you” and “are” here: “I see you are fond of Scottish athletics.” Aye . . . um . . . Yes. That works.

Your is possession. Belonging to you. “How good is your caber toss?”

Who’s and Whose

Who’s is a contraction of “who” and “is”: “Who’s the world champion stone-putter?” Substitute “who” and “is” here: “Who is the world champion stone-putter?” Yes. That works.

Whose is possession. Belonging to . . . well . . . we don’t know: “Whose maide leisg is this?” No one answers. “Come on! Whose is this?” No one answers.  

It’s tricky, but it’s absolute. Don’t use one instead of the other. Be careful. You’ll lose credibility.

If you have comments, suggestions, or arguments, let us know. We love this stuff.