It Ain’t Grammer: “There vs They’re vs Their”

Another really common mistake that I see quite often is someone using there when they mean their. Or someone (oddly enough) using their when they mean they’re or even there. Clearly the person who mistakes their for there is just trying to seem intelligent and is coming across as more dimwitted in the process.

So what is the difference between these three words that all sound similar but have different meanings and different spellings? (By the way, the name for that type of word is “homophone”, which is different from a “homonym” which is the same spelling and sound but different meaning.)

Well, the most obvious of the three that is different is they’re. What makes it so obvious? It’s a fucking contraction! It means “they are”. Don’t even get me started on the difference between “your” and “you’re”. Fuck, I’m going to have to do that one at some point, aren’t I? Anyway, if you’re saying “they are”, you use they’re. It’s really that straightforward and easy. Need examples?

They’re at the mall.” “I can’t believe they’re going out.” “Tell me why they’re moving.”

Next we’ll look at their. It’s a possessive word. Similar to that of “your”. If you want to use their it has to belong to someone.

“That’s their car.” “Look, I stole their phone.” “Hey, don’t touch that! That’s their orange juice!”

Now let’s look at there. It’s literally every other use of the word.

“It’s over there.” “Look back there.” “There, I said it!” “I can’t believe you just stopped there, in the middle of the sentence.” “There isn’t a right mind in this room.” “There you go.”

Now do you get it? Let’s review.

They’re = a contraction…two words rolled into one: “they are”

Their = possessive, something that belongs to someone else

There = every other time you have to use a word that sounds like “there”

And now, as per usual here are some practice sentences:

1. Let’s stop over (their/they’re/there).

2. (Their/They’re/There) here!

3. Hey, that sounds like (their/they’re/there) voice!

4. (Their/They’re/There) lives aren’t the only ones at stake!

5. (Their/They’re/There) is a bug on my floor.

6. I can’t wait until (their/they’re/there) married!

Know someone who mistakes “there” for “their” or uses “they’re” incorrectly? Or some other variation of the three? Share this post with them and make them feel like an imbecile! I’ll laugh with you…all the way to the bank.

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