THERE refers to places
- That girl over there is beautiful
THEY’RE is short for THEY ARE
- They are both very special to me
- They’re both very special to me
THEIR is possessive for people
- This is their house.
In almost every language, you will find words that are pronounced exactly the same, but have different definitions and different spellings.
These little tricksters are called Homonyms! We hate them, but we love to use them!
Because homonyms are pronounced exactly alike, often there is no way to learn the differences except to memorize the spellings and definitions.
This can take time and practice, but I will make it easy for you!
There: the location or position of something
- My car is parked there.
- His books are there, in his bag.
- There are no more students in the class.
- Are the documents still there on her desk?
- Is there another way we can drive to get to the city?
Tip: Think that the word here is in there. So, to remember the definition of there is location, think “here,” “there.” Both signify location.
Their: a group in possession of something
Their food is getting cold.
- Their presentations were great!
- How is their customer service?
- The teacher has their respect in class.
- Going to the store was their idea.
Tip: Their signifies a group that possesses something. So, possession is the key.
Tip #1: Ask yourself “Who?”
Ex: Their food is getting cold.
“Whose food is getting cold?”
Their food is getting cold!
Ex: Going to the store was their idea.
“Whose idea was it to go to the store?”
Ex: How is their customer service?
“Whose customer service?”
Their customer service!
Tip #2: Their signifies possession. When I think possession, I think person/people, and the word “I” makes me think of persons/people.
So, to remember the definition of their is possession, think the letter I is in their, and I reminds me of persons/people in possession of something.
They’re: contraction of they are
They are = They’re
- They’re very busy during the holidays.
- They’re tired after the exams.
- I like vegetables because they’re good for my health.
- I think they’re trying to offend me.
- They’re on their way here.
Tip: They’re signifies They are. So, if you can replace they are with they’re in the sentence, and it does not change the meaning, it’s well done!
- They’re very busy during the holidays. = They are very busy during the holidays.
- They’re tired after the exams. = They are tired after the exams.
- I think they’re trying to offend me. = I think they are trying to offend me.
There: My family moved there, to Seattle, after I found a job as a software developer.
Their: Their favorite thing to do is spend time as a family exploring the city.
They’re: My family is fantastic; they’re my favorite people in the world.
There: Have you traveled there before?
Their: Their flight leaves in two hours.
They’re: They’re excited to experience a new culture and language.
There: There is a growing obsession for zombies.
Their: Their hunger for brains is overwhelming.
They’re: They’re not very smart… or fast.
There is / There are / There isn’t / There aren’t
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