There, Their, and They're

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Do not confuse there, their, and they're. That would be a serious mistake.

They're is short for they are.
Their shows possession. It's just like my, his, her, and our.
There is a place. It's similar to here.

They're, Their, and There

You must not confuse they're, their, and there. A mistake involving these is a grammatical howler.

They're

They're is a contraction (i.e., a shortened version) of they are. (In the contraction they're, the apostrophe replaces the letter a and the two words are merged into one.)

THEY'RE ALWAYS EXPANDS TO THEY ARE

Only use they're if you can substitute it with they are.

Examples:

Their

Their is used to show possession. It is like my, your, his, her, its, and our. These are called possessive adjectives.)

THEIR CAN OFTEN BE SUBSTITUTED WITH OUR

Here is a little trick to test whether their is correct:

Use the word our instead of their. If the sentence still makes sense, then their is almost certainly correct. This trick works because our and their are both possessive adjectives used for plurals.

Examples:

There

The word there is similar to the word here in that it represents a place. (There and here are adverbs of place).

There has two uses:

(1) It is used to denote a specific place. (2) It is used to denote that something exists. Some more examples:

A Quick Test

NOT IN FORMAL LETTERS 

As a general rule, try to avoid words like they're and doesn't in formal letters. Always expand them to they are and does not.

(See lesson Apostrophes.)



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See Also

What are adverbs? What are adjectives? Apostrophes replace letters List of easily confused words