GrammarPhile Blog

Their, There, and They're: The Difference

Posted by Sara Richmond   Mar 6, 2024 11:11:18 AM

If you’ve wondered whether someone created these often-confused words just to torture English-speaking people, you’re not alone.

“Their,” “there,” and “they’re” are:

  • Pronounced the same.
  • Spelled similarly (the first three letters are identical).
  • Confused by Spell Check—four times as I wrote this blog post, for example.
  • Used incorrectly in the wild all the time. (If you read a mistake often enough, or only ever hear/see a grammar mistake, you may just think it’s correct. This happened to me while growing up with home vs. hone, towards vs. toward, and chomping vs. champing.)

To sum up: We’re screwed.

I’m kidding. Let’s take about three minutes to rewire your brain so you never struggle with using “their,” “there,” and “they’re” correctly again.

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Topics: they're, their, there

How to Use They’re, Their, and There Correctly

Posted by Sara Richmond   Jun 8, 2023 7:00:00 AM

Meanings and Examples

Read this 5-minute grammar lesson and never doubt your spelling or use of “they’re,” “their,” or “there” again.

They’re: Meaning and Examples

If you understand the basics, you’re less likely to forget information. The most basic information about “they’re” is that it’s a contraction. When you see an apostrophe (this little fella: ’) between multiple letters in nonplural words, it’s a big, red, bouncy alert: Two or more words have been smushed together, and at least one letter/sound has been left out. These combo words are called contractions.

Contraction examples:

  • they’ll: they will
  • can’t: can not
  • wouldn’t: would not
  • she’s: she is
  • isn’t: is not
  • must’ve: must have
  • didn’t: didn’t
  • aren’t: are not
  • ’twasn’t: it was not (don’t use this unless you’re trying to write 18th-century-vibes poetry)

Apostrophes are also used to show possession (ownership) and for clarity in a few oddball plurals.

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Topics: they're, their, there

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