“Their,” “there,” and “they’re” are “homophones.” It means that they sound the same in pronunciation but have different meanings. So it is understandable that you may have difficulty differentiating these words. Even native speakers often find it challenging to use them correctly. But worry no more! We’ll guide you through this mess! 😉
There (for places)
“There” describes a specific place and is often used with the words “are” and “is:”
The dog is over there.
You can put this over there.
Do they have guests over there?
However, sometimes “there” is also used as an adverb:
There are some leftovers in the fridge.
There will be plenty of people at the party.
Are there many visitors?
💡 Where? – Here? – There!
💡 How to test: Replace “there” with “here.”
Their (for possessions)
“Their” is a possessive pronoun and refers to the 3rd person plural. So “their” refers to something that belongs to several people.
This is their house.
These are their cars.
Their dog went missing.
Are those their kids?
This cat is not theirs.
💡 Their –> Heir (someone who inherits something that belonged to another person)
💡 How to test: Replace “their” with “our.”
They’re (“they are”)
“They’re” is short for “they are.” “They” is the 3rd person singular personal pronoun, and “are” is the conjugated form of “to be.”
They’re always late for school.
They’re from Canada.
Are they coming to the party this evening?
They aren’t sure what to do next.
Do you know if they’re engaged already?
💡 “They’re” describes peoples or things
💡 How to test: Replace “they’re” with “they are.”