There, Their or They’re?

There is a place or location (whether real or theoretical).

Their is the possessive form of them/they.

They’re is a contraction of they are.

See how easy that was, yet so many people still get these words mixed up. And these three little words sound exactly the same, which is part of the problem.

Now let’s look at them in some sentences so we can see why they are different:

  • He left his books over there.
  • Their ice-creams melted in the hot sun.
  • They’re going to be late if they don’t hurry up.

Here are a few little tricks you can try that should help you to remember the differences:

  • If you can replace there with here, then you need to use there.
  • If you can replace their with his, our or my, then you need to use their.
  • If you can replace they’re with they are, then you need to use they’re.

The example below shows all three words used in one sentence:

Their dog threw up in the garden over there where they’re about to plant some tomatoes.

In most cases if you have ruled out their and they’re you probably need there.

Kristy Taylor is a syndicated freelance journalist with articles and short stories strewn across all forms of media. She has written and published numerous books, and is the executive editor of KT Publishing, which encompasses several web sites. For free listings of short story competitions visit

To contact Kristy, email her at

This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ for reprint rights.

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