There, Their, They’re: What’s the Difference

There, Their,  They’re: What’s the Difference

Steve Gamel
President/Owner — Edit This®
469-360-3611 (C)
Follow me on Twitter: @EditThis_ and @NewspaperSteve

Welcome to another Edit This® grammar lesson. Today, we will explore the differences between there, their, and they’re. Do you know the difference?

Many people say they do, but just yesterday a colleague pointed to an instance where one of our younger writers used they’re instead of their in an article. We fixed the flub before going to print (no harm, no foul), but that goes to show how easy it is to confuse this trio of words if you aren’t paying attention.

Remember: There, their, and they’re are examples of homophones — words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

There is used to refer to a location (place), or something that exists.
• Our car is over there.
• There you have it.
• There is a mustard stain on your shirt.
• Been there, done that. 

Their shows possession. 
• Their daughter scored the
game-winning goal.
• All of their friends showed up for
the wedding. 
• A state championship is within
their reach.
• That family decorated their house for
the holidays.

They’re is simply an abbreviation (contraction) of they are. 
• They’re making me so mad
right now.
• If you want to talk to the team, they’re
right there by the dugout.
• I personally believe they’re crazy for
rooting for the Yankees.
• They’re always so sleepy after lunch. 

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