“You are” vs. “you're” — what is the difference between them?
I get confused between the two a lot. I want to understand how to use them appropriately, because I hate making mistakes.
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There is no difference in meaning although there are a few differences in usages. Here, there is virtually no difference:
You are flying to Belgium tomorrow.
You're flying to Belgium tomorrow.
However, there are places where the two are not interchangeable. For example, this particular contraction cannot be used at the end of a sentence, or as a standalone sentence:
Who is flying to Belgium tomorrow?
CORRECT ANSWER: You are, Tim.
INCORRECT ANSWER: You're, Tim.
The same principles hold true for the other related contractions:
I'm ➝ I am
He's ➝ He is
They're ➝ They are
We're ➝ We are
You are and You're are the same. You're is the contraction of You are.
However, in formal writing it is more appropriate to use "You are" as opposed to "You're".