How to Use They're, There, and Their

They are among the most commonly confused words.
What to Know

Their, there, and they're are all pronounced the same way. Their is the possessive pronoun that means “belonging to them,” as in "their car is red"; there is used to name a specific place or location as in "get away from there" and "stop right there"; they're is a contraction of "they are," as in "they're getting married."

Words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings can be tricky. Three very common ones in particular often confuse people: there, their, and they’re.

charm unit words at play theyre there their

There's no need to confuse there, they're, and their. While they're not an easy group of words, with practice you can master their distinctions.

"There" Usage

There is about location. It has the word here in it, which is helpful, and it often answers the question “where?”

There it is.
Put it there.
Stay there.
We'll be there soon.

It's about location in the more abstract sense too:

There you go.
There is where we disagree.
Friends who are always there for you.

It’s also the one to use in a question or statement that begins with “Is there”/”Are there” or “There is”/”There are.”

There is a nice hotel in the town.
There are plenty available.
Is there a hotel in the town? Are there many cats in the shelter?

"They're" Usage

They're is a contraction that means "they are." Apostrophes indicate where one or more letters have been taken out of a word or words. They generally indicate contraction of two words, as in can't = cannot, we’ve = we have, or he’s = he is, or omission of a letter or letters, as in singin' for singing and 'em for them in stick it to 'em.

They're (=they are) funny people.
They're (=they are) the cutest puppies ever.

It can be used of non-living things too:

They're (=they are) both really good books.
They're (=they are) two of our biggest problems.

"Their" Usage

The last of this trio, their, is the possessive form of they, so it has to do with what belongs to, relates to, or is made or done by "them".

It's their house.
We're their neighbors.
The trees are losing their leaves.

Their also has a long history of being used as a singular pronoun. Associate Editor Emily Brewster explains its usage in this video.

And there you go. They're not an easy group of words, but with practice we know you can master their distinctions.

In summary: There is the most common. It has the word here in it, which is helpful because it's often about location. They're always means "they are." Their is the possessive form of they.

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