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How to Use "Their" vs. "There" vs. "They're"

Learn how to use "their," "there" and "they're" properly from Gotham Writers' Workshop instructor Stephanie Paterik in this Howcast grammar video.


I'm going to talk about the difference between there, their, and they're. Yes, I said 3 separate words. In fact, one of my favorite grammar jokes is, "How do you console a grammarian? There, their, they're." So, let's talk about the difference between these 3 words that sound so similar but mean different things. We have "their," spelled t-h-e-i-r, and it indicates possession.

Then there's "there," t-h-e-r-e which indicates location and there's, "they're," t-h-e-y-'apostrophe-r-e which is a contraction of the two words "they" and "are." So, let's look at how the 3 different forms of their function in a sentence. I'll give you an example. There's an amazing bakery in SoHo in New York that sells a treat called, Cronuts, they're to die for.

So, I might say, "Their Cronuts are amazing." In this case we use t-h-e-i-r because we're indicating possession. The Cronuts belong to this bakery. I might tell you , "It's over there, on Spring Street." Well, in this case I use the word t-h-e-r-e because I'm indicating the location of the bakery. And lastly, I might say, "They're the best treat ever." Well, this time I'm using a contraction meaning they are the best treat of all time. So, I hope that this clears up the difference between there, their and they're.

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