Decoding There, Their, and They're


Native speakers get these wrong too. 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.

The distinction of the three most interchanged words in the entire English language is theirs.


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


There: (1) the opposite of here and (2) indicates simple existence.

There is the train.

There are good reasons to take the train.


They're: simply a contraction for they are.

They're waiting for the train.


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

Their train is almost here.


Their/There/They're

There are simple definitions for each, and they're easy enough to use correctly, so remembering their spellings must be the real problem!


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

There

Here and there are a pair and one has all the letters of the other. Take a look!



There are plenty of chairs here.





Their

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




Their order is alphabetical.







They're

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


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


They use contractions when they're in a hurry.

BONUS LESSON

We apologize on behalf of the English language, but there are 3 more words that you should also know IF your goal is English fluency. They're necessary too.


While we are here, let's learn the 3 other English words that sound so similar to the first 3 in this lesson.





Theirs: pronoun referring to whatever (noun) belongs to them.

The tickets are theirs.


There's: simply the contraction for there is.

There's another ticket if you need one.


Ther're: simply the contraction for there are. Ther're is much more common in speech than in writing, even informal writing, so you'll hear it but may never see it.

Ther're only two tickets in my bag.


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