There, Their, and They’re
The English language is full of problems like the one presented by there, their and they’re. Most native English speakers pronounce these the same way; therefore, it is difficult for some to judge from your face which spelling you meant. Each spelling means a very different thing; if you’d like to learn the difference, read on!
1. Use there when referring to a place, whether concrete (“over there by the building”) or more abstract (“it must be difficult to live there”).
2. Also use there with the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.
- There is an antique store on Camden Avenue.
- There are many documents that are used in investigations.
1. Use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.
- My friends have lost their tickets.
1. Remember that they’re is a contraction of the words they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself).
- Hurry up! They’re closing the mall at six tonight!
Now, take the Comprehension Quiz!