The misuse of this word is one that truly troubles me, and not because it’s difficult. In fact, it’s quite easy to remember which one to use when. I’m sure I’m not the only one who views misuse of this word as a neon sign that advertises your poor English skills.
Some grammar rules are difficult to remember and have lots of rules. If, in addition, it is constantly used incorrectly, there is very little chance of remembering correct usage. This is not the case with your/you’re. One simple test, and you can be sure you are correct.
Maybe the misuse of this word is not ignorance. If that is the case, it is nothing more than laziness. If you think for one second about the sentence you are writing, you will instantly know if you’ve used the right word. There is one simple rule to remember:
Only use you’re when you mean to say you are.
Here’s an example: You’re going to the movies, tomorrow, right? Now try the sentence with you are instead of your: You are going to the movies tomorrow, right? It works perfectly. The sentence is correct as written.
The pencil fell out of your backpack. (The pencil fell out of you are backpack makes no sense.)
Your going to pay for lunch. (No, here you want to say you are, so you should have used you’re.)
It’s raining, but your going to walk to school anyway. (Again, here you are saying you are, so you need you’re.)
You’re bringing your books to school tomorrow. (Correct usage of both you’re and your.)
See? Isn’t that easy? I’m confident that from now on you’ll all use these two words correctly.
And don’t even get me started on texting ur.