Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Grammar Guide
You’re Versus Your

Today at The Dragon we discuss the difference between “you’re” and “your” and give a quick tip (shortcut) for selecting which to use in a sentence. We start with definitions. “Your” is a possessive pronoun. “You’re” is a contraction of you and are.

Example from Choices Meant for Gods:

Chariss couldn’t hide a mocking smile when she saw Nigel had Jorin’s sword in his hand.
“This is humorous?”
“That’s Jorin’s. It looks…dainty in your hand.”
He smiled at her. “And why is that?”
If she didn’t know any better, she would swear he baited her into some specific answer. Not knowing his agenda, she answered honestly. “Well, you’re a man holding a youth’s weapon. It looks…unbalanced.”

The “your” in Chariss’s dialogue is a possessive pronoun referring to Nigel’s hand. The “you’re” in Chariss’s dialogue is a contraction of “you” and “are”.

If you’re in a hurry and want to make sure your sentence is grammatically correct, the quick and easy shortcut to test out the use of “you’re” (or your) is to see if it can be replaced with “you are” in the sentence. If it can, then using the contraction is correct. If you can’t replace it with “you are,” then you need to use the possessive pronoun.

“I didn’t realize you used the training arena. Doesn’t your father frown upon that?”

In this example, if Chariss used the contraction “you are” in the sentence, “Doesn’t you’re father…”, the question would make no sense. The possessive pronoun “your” refers to Nigel’s possession of a father and fits perfectly.

(Sandy Lender has been an editor in the magazine publishing industry for fifteen years, is an associate editor with ArcheBooks Publishing, and is the author of the new fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, now available at
“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”

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