So… what does a wombat have to do with grammar, you ask? Well, I ran a little quiz on facebook yesterday. Here are the instructions:

 Write two sentences.

Use the word "your" in one sentence, and the word "you're" in another sentence.

Each sentence must also mention wombats.


(1) You must use correct grammar and spelling; and
(2) whatever you say about wombats should be scientifically incorrect.

Looks like all entries were winners. Well, at first Carmen Seibold's entry contained scientifically correct information. Then she noticed that the rules state that information about wombats should be scientifically incorrect. She promptly changed her sentences.

Before I give you the entertaining sentences, let me just give you a quick overview of these two words.

Our grasp of grammar is usually related to how we hear English. "Your" and "You're" sound identical. So what can we do to remember when to use them? 

When to Use "Your" and "You're"

"You're" is really a contraction of the words "you" + "are." To check your blog post, article or email for the correct use of "you're," simply replace it with the words "you are" and read your sentence out loud.

 If the sentence makes sense, you've used it correctly. If it doesn't, then you should use the word "your."

Here is an example from Garrett Wilner:

CORRECT: Your basic wombat is native to Illinois.

Notice what happens if we change "your" to "you're":

INCORRECT: You're basic wombat is native to Illinois. Change to "you are" — You are basic wombat is …

Garrett's Correct sentence using "you're" — You're most likely to find one in the Windy CIty.

Notice if we replace "you're" in this sentence to "you are," it makes sense:

"You are most likely to find one in the Windy City."

"Your" Indicates Possession

Here is one more test for your sentences. When someone uses the word "your," they are talking about something you own. For example, your friend might say "Let me see your iphone for a minute." If you don't see a noun shortly after the word "your," there's a good chance it is incorrect. You may see an adjective first. Here's an example: "I like the sound of your red guitar best."

If you still aren't sure, try the "you are" test!

 More Great Examples

Play around with the rest of the winning sentences!

Rose Mis:

Your wombats are far different than mine.

You're in trouble when wombats look like Angels burning the midnight oil!

Carmen Seibold:

Your plans to see wombats may come true in Australia. You're likely to be unsuccessful in finding an endangered northern wombat. (tisk tisk, that information about wombats appears to be correct…)

Carmen returned with these sentences:

Your peerless reptile collection wins the prize for including the common wombat. You're not a real wombat unless you're the offspring of a platypus crossed with a kangaroo.

For more on wombats and when to use "that" and "which," see Waltzing Matillda and the Wombats. And, feel free to sing along! 

I'd love to hear your sentences! Please post them below!  Christiane : )



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