Are or Our?

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between are and our?

Are is like am and is. (They are all forms of the verb to be in the present tense.) For example:
  • We are currently driving to London.
Our means belonging to us. (It is a possessive pronoun.) For example:
  • Our house is full of construction workers.

Click on the Two Correct Sentences
(Interactive Game)

Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...
Getting ready...

Are or Our?

The words are and our are both extremely common in English, and they sound similar. However, their meanings are very different.


Are is to is as were is to was. In other words, are is from the verb to be.

Look at this table:
PronounPersonVerb To Be in Simple Present
IFirst person singularam
YouSecond person singularare
He/She/ItThird person singularis
WeFirst person pluralare
YouSecond person pluralare
TheyThird person plural are

  • They are looking forward to Christmas.
  • When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity. (Albert Einstein)
  • Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese. (Luis Bunuel)


Our means belonging to us. Our is a possessive adjective.

  • This is our dog.
  • We love even when our love is not requited. (Mortimer Adler)
  • All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. (Walt Disney)
The other possessive adjectives are my, your, his, her, its, our, their, and whose.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are verbs? What is the simple present tense? What are possessive adjectives? What are possessive pronouns? List of easily confused words