The Number One Grammar Mistake In Email, Chat and Text Is….

Grammar Gaffes Make You Look Dumb

I was behind a truck recently that had a cool LED lighted border around the license plate. Little red lights danced around and framed the driver’s message. Here’s what this driver had displayed on his flashy license plate border:

“If your reading this, than your to close.”

Do you see what I saw? Not one, not two, but four typos! The message should read:

“If you’re reading this, then you’re too close.”

I just shook my head when I read the plate. I shook my head because the “Your” versus “You’re” grammar gaffe is very common, and it makes people look not so smart. (Not to mention the other typos!)

I’m sharing this with you because the number 1 Grammar Mistake in Business Emails, Chats and Texts is saying “Your Welcome,” when you really mean, “You’re welcome.”

All it takes to avoid the “Your vs. You’re” gaffe is to take a second and think about what you’re trying to say.

“Your” is a possessive pronoun, as in “your car” or “your phone.” Since you do not possess “welcome,” it makes so sense to say, “Your welcome.”

“You’re” is a contraction for “you are,” as in “you’re going to be so much more effective at writing emails because you took this course.” Or, “You’re welcome.”

Let’s look at some examples for when you use your versus you’re. You would not say “Your important to us” because you don’t possess the “Important.”

It would be correct to say, “You’re important to us,” as in “You are important.”

Let’s say you are including a customer’s tracking number in an email. The tracking number is the customer’s tracking information, so in this case, a possessive pronoun is appropriate. You would say, “I’m attaching your receipt.”

The whole “your” vs. “you’re” thing is a mistake a lot of people make, but getting it right just takes a few seconds to think about what we’re saying. Here’s a short video I created on the Your versus You’re mistake. Share this with your employees to make sure they don’t make the number one grammar gaffe in business communication.

This tip is from my Email Essentials Course, which is part of my customer service online training suite. Learn more about this training here.