The Great Grammar Debate: Is it Your Welcome or You’re Welcome?


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Is it Your welcome or you’re welcome? If you want to be grammatically correct, you need to read this quick answer to a common grammar error!

You're welcome Your welcome 5 Minute Grammar

Ah, the age-old conundrum of ‘your welcome’ versus ‘you’re welcome.’ It’s a grammatical quandary that has plagued humanity since the dawn of language. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but let’s be real, it’s a problem that has caused more than a few eye rolls and silent judging.

So, if you’re tired of feeling like a grammar amateur every time you respond to a thank you, then you’ve come to the right place. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into the wild and wacky world of contractions and possessive pronouns!

Is it Your welcome or You’re welcome?

Well, what’s the right way to answer a Thank You? This such a common error in texting, on facebook, in blog posts. Everywhere. It’s horrible. And the wrong choice makes me vomit a little bit each time I see this error.

There’s only one right answer, though. Do YOU know which one it is? If you guess, YOU’RE WELCOME, you are correct, my friend!

“You’re welcome” is a polite response that is used to acknowledge and accept someone’s thanks or appreciation. It is a short form of the longer expression “You are welcome,” which implies that the person thanking you is welcome to your help or service, and that you were happy to provide it.

The phrase “you’re welcome” is commonly used in social interactions, such as when someone thanks you for holding the door open or giving them a gift, and it is a way of showing politeness and gratitude towards others.

The Origins of You Are Welcome

The origin of the phrase “You are welcome” can be traced back to the Old English word “wilcuma.” Wilcuma meant “desired guest, cordially invited to do something, pleasure, delight, or kindly greeting.”

Over time, the phrase evolved into the modern English expression “You are welcome” which, as we’ve said is a polite response to someone’s thanks or appreciation.

The phrase “You are welcome” became popular in the 19th century as a standard response to expressions of gratitude or thanks, and it has been widely used ever since.

The Difference Between Your and You’re

YOUR is a possessive pronoun that indicates ownership. For example, “your” would be used in a sentence such as “Your hat is on the table,” where it shows that the hat belongs to the person being addressed. There is nothing possessive in YOUR welcome so you can’t use it in this instance.

YOU’RE is a contraction of “you are” and is used to describe a state of being or an action. YOU’RE would be used in a sentence such as “You’re wearing a hat,” where it is a contraction of “you are” and describes the action of wearing a hat.

Confusion between the two words often happens because they are homophones, meaning they sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the context of the sentence to determine which one to use correctly.

When it comes to the response for THANK YOU, the correct answer is YOU’RE. YOU’RE is a contraction for YOU ARE and the technical phrase is YOU ARE WELCOME. Therefore, the second choice is the only one that can be correct.

But should you even say You’re Welcome?? 

Answering a thank you is something we are taught automatically to do. It’s the polite to acknowldege the person thanking you and it’s ingrained in so many societies. When we learn a foreign language, it’s one of the first things we’re taught.

The Huffington Post wrote an interesting essay on why you should rethink saying You’re welcome, though. You are welcome essentially means that you accept the gratitude of the person who said thank you. The Huffington Post article offers that a more powerful statement would be, “I know you’d do the same for me.” They argue that statement shifts the balance of power! It’s an interesting article if you’d like to read it.

Some people claim the automatic response is dumb and we shouldn’t use you are welcome at all. It would be more appropriate to say, happy to help, or glad to have done it, or something along those lines. Then there are the hard liners like my husband.

He gets really irritated when someone acknowledges a thank you with yep or uh huh. Why can’t they just the age old answer, he thinks. I’m not really sure where I fall there. As long as you have some polite answer to a thank you, it doesn’t really make any difference to me. What do you think?

Is it Your Welcome or You're Welcome? If you're second guessing which one is the proper English grammar usage, double check with this quick 5 minute grammar lesson!

Example Sentences Using YOUR and YOU’RE Correctly and Incorrectly

Here are 15 sentences using YOUR and YOU’RE. Can You find the mistakes? (Hint, there are 7 mistakes!)

  1. Is that your phone ringing?
  2. Your welcome!
  3. I can’t believe your moving to a new city.
  4. You’re such a talented artist.
  5. Have you seen your grades yet?
  6. Your house is very tidy.
  7. Can I have some of you’re popcorn?
  8. Your going to love the new restaurant.
  9. Make sure you check you’re coat at the door.
  10. You’re welcome to come over anytime.
  11. I think I left my phone in your car.
  12. You’re going to be so happy when you see your surprise party!
  13. I can’t believe your coming to visit me next week!
  14. Can I borrow you’re pen?
  15. Your welcome package has arrived
Is it Your welcome or you're welcome? Not sure which one? Here's a quick five-minute grammar lesson on the difference between your and you're and when to use which!

If you didn’t know the right way to answer to THANK YOU, YOU ARE WELCOME for this post!

More grammar posts you may like:

Then or Than?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Less or Fewer?

Should have gone or Should have went?

If you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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    1. @Sara Storr,
      Not but in this case.
      These are 2 different contexts that the word welcome is being used in.
      “Your and you’re (you are) “.

  1. I honestly can not believe how many times I’ve seen people spelling words wrong! I guess I was lucky to have caught on so well and was usually always getting A’s in English.

      1. Actually, “can not” is also acceptable, but is usually only used when modifying the word after “not” instead of “can”.

  2. I just came across your blog today, and as someone who takes grammatical matters very (read: WAY TOO) seriously, I just want you to know I really appreciate this series of posts. Thank you for this public service; you really make things simple for your reader!

  3. I will see your ‘your & you’re’ and raise you a there, their and they’re’. Drives me absolutely crazy how folks do not use the proper forms.


  4. I am curious. If you are saying “your welcome” as in a different way to say “my thanks” would it still be “you’re welcome?”
    This is coming from a seventh grader by the way.

    1. Hi John, there would be a time to use your welcome – if you mean to show that the welcome belongs to a person, as in: “Your welcome here at my house has run out.” But most often, the correct usage is to to use the abbreviation for YOU ARE. In that case, you need to say You’re welcome. 🙂

  5. Your is not a possessive pronoun. It’s a possessive determiner or possessive adjective or pronominal adjective. Yours a is possesive pronoun. Go back to school.

  6. Thank you for this lesson 🙂
    It really help for someone like me , who is not a native english speaker 🙂

  7. I’ve been trying to order a welcome mat for a friend and am not sure about the proper use of (‘).
    The mat reads:
    Welcome to the
    (Ryan) is last name
    Should it be the Ryans, Ryan’s, Ryans’?

    1. I would recommend: Welcome to the Ryans’ Home. 🙂 If you want it to say only Welcome to the Ryans – then Ryans shouldn’t be possessive, only plural.

    1. They are only possessing the welcome if there is a noun after Welcome – as in Your welcome mat is lovely. If it’s said as a response to thank you, the correct usage is YOU ARE WELCOME or You’re welcome. 🙂

      1. I disagree with you. ‘You’re welcome’ doesn’t really make sense with the actual meaning of the phrase. It means “May wellness come to you”, that is “May YOUR wellness come”. Saying “You are wellness come” doesn’t really make sense. If someone says “Thanks be to you!” (thank you) why would you reply “You are wellness”. You are wishing the person wellness, not telling them they ARE wellness. By this logic the correct answer appears to actually be ‘your welcome’.

        1. There are probably more phrases and spellings in English that don’t make sense than do make sense. I don’t make the rules; I just report them. It doesn’t really matter how stupid the convention to say you are welcome may seem, it is the correct response when someone says thank you. 🙂

          1. Yes, I agree with you on the question of whether You’re welcome is the correct grammar, it is. My 9 year old questioned me when I sent a text to him. Thanks for making it clear to us.

  8. That still doesn’t explain why we write “you’re welcome” in reply to thanks. There’s no obvious logic to “you are welcome” as a response to a “thank you”, thus it’s not obvious that the contraction spelling in the correct spelling. For me, I don’t perceive it as meaning “you are welcome”, it’s just a set phrase with no particular meaning other than to recognize a “thank you”. Thus spelling it as “you’re” rather than “your” is simply on convention, not something with any logic to it. It’s no more logical than a “your welcome” spelling.

  9. But if it’s in an informal email, then I think “Your Welcome” is no big deal because it is easier to type than You’re Welcome.
    Emails are notorious for using abbreviations , poor grammar and such.
    Also, I have seen so many people use Your Welcome, that at some point it becomes acceptable.
    I am sure there are words in the English language that use to be poor grammar, but became acceptable words
    because too many people used it.

    1. In my opinion, you should get in the practice of using proper grammar in email so that when you have to write professional or academic emails, you aren’t confused. You’ll sound a lot smarter and your credibility will be much better. YOUR welcome is not accepted today as proper grammar. I hope it never is. 🙂

  10. I really needed a place like this. My birth language is not English, I actually live outside the U.S. but I work using your language on a daily basis and sometimes it’s really confusing when reading people that actually are americans (so they always make me wonder if I’m writing/speaking well). As a maniac of the grammar I love learning how to properly speak/write in english. Finally and can write “you’re welcome” without hesitating. Best regards from Mexico.

  11. Okay but what if the person doesn’t feel welcome? So you’d be saying “you are welcome” but what if the person is not welcome? Because you’re giving that welcome to somebody else. It would then become theirs. So you could say “your welcome” and be grammatically correct.

    1. If you mean saying your welcome after someone says thank you is sometimes grammatically correct, you’re wrong. There’s just nothing else to say about that. The grammatically correct response to thank you is you are welcome. Every single time. If you mean you like someone’s welcome mat and you say I like your welcome mat, then yes. In that case the your shows possession and you are correct. ?

  12. Word 2016 has just corrected my “You’re welcome” to “Your welcome”… this is why I’m here. Just to make sure I was right. Now I’ve got the little blue squiggly line on my document!

      1. Michelle Marine! I just came across your blog. I certainly want to join please. I’m class 72 and need to improve my grammer.

  13. My Outlook just corrected it to Your welcome! That’s crazy! Microsoft needs to be notified. For a second, I thought I was wrong! LOL

  14. I have read, written by an English language professor, that “you are welcome” in any form is not
    proper grammar at all. I don’t recall the type of phrase he/she called it. But, what he was saying
    is that is an absolutely senseless phrase… simply something people have gotten into the habit
    of saying. And when you actually think about it, that’s correct. You’re welcome… what does it mean?
    Welcome to what?… my house?… this store we are in?… if their thanks appreciated, then you might say “your thanks is welcomed” or “I welcome your thanks”. You are welcome means just that… you
    are welcome to be here, or to come to or attend some place that would like to have you there. It
    has nothing to do with “thanks or thank you”! If anyone knows the type of phrase it is, I would like
    to hear it again… I just can’t think of it now.

  15. In some cases your welcome is correct. For instance if you buy something from someone. If it wouldn’t have been for their welcome to buy it they wouldn’t be saying thank you.

      1. Hi I’m 13 my birth-day was on july 15. I read all the comments and I think everyone on here is funny. You guys are arguing about proper grammer it’s 2020 no one cares. I don’t care if I spell thing wrong. It seems to me no one’s right. Americas english is terrible. NOW WRITE A 2 PAGE paragraph about why speaking proper english is right. You could just shut up I don’t wanna read 2 sentences. I really found everyone fighting fun to read someone should make a book out of this. Well I’ll be back on this site in a week but I’ll still check everyday. Love yall peace.

  16. In Merry Olde England (and Europe) when a commoner visited the King, he brought a present to buy his way inside. The King said, “Thank You.” The commoner responded, “I beg your welcome,” so that he could be admitted and protected by the castle. This is similar to saying, “I beg your pardon, I beg your forgiveness,” etc. The King then responded, “Enter. You are welcome.” Over time the commoner’s phrasing was shortened from “I beg your welcome,” to simply, “Your welcome.” “You are welcome,” or “You’re welcome,” indicates the giver of the gift is also welcoming the receiver of the gift. So, I’m still on the fence with this, and I don’t correct those who choose to use “Your welcome.”

    1. I’m afraid most people do not understand this nuance, but I appreciate your comment nonetheless. 🙂