Decoding There, Their, and They're

Native speakers get these wrong too. All the time. Help us stop this madness.

There are three English words that sound exactly the same, but they're spelled differently and their meanings are also distinct. It's enough to drive anyone crazy, including native speakers.

Let's clarify there, their, and they're.

There: (1) opposite of "here" or further than is indicated by "here" or (2) indicates simple existence or a factual circumstance.

1. Look! There is the train now, so hurry!

2. There is a train going there soon.

They're: contraction for they are.

They're waiting for the train.

Their: possessive adjective form of the pronoun "they"-- like "your" is for "you."

Their train is almost here.


There are simple definitions for each, and they're easy to use correctly, but remembering their spellings can be tricky!

Use these great ways to remember there, their, and they're, so they never confuse you again.

There and Here

The similarity in meaning and spelling of "there" and "here" can help you remember how to spell "there."

Remember: Although "here" and "there" look very similar in spelling, "here" and "there" do not rhyme. "Here" rhymes with "dear" and "there" rhymes with "hair."

There are plenty of chairs here.


Sometimes the e and the i are wrongly reversed [their], but to prevent making that mistake, just remember that e comes before i in the alphabet too.

Their order is alphabetical.


Faster speech has created contractions and other shortened forms. In English contractions, the apostrophe ['] represents what is missing. In the contraction "they're," the letter "a" is missing.

"They're" is the shorter way to write and say "they are" and is an example of a contraction in English.