There, Their, They’re | Meaning, Examples & Difference
Their, there, and they’re are pronounced similarly but don’t have the same meaning. You can recognize which one is correct from the context.
- There is most commonly used to mean “at that point” or “in that place.”
- Their is the possessive form of the third-person plural pronoun “they.” It means “belonging to them.”
- They’re is a shortened version of “they are.”
|Examples: There in a sentence||Examples: Their in a sentence||Example: They’re in a sentence|
|There’s not much left to say after this fight.||Ann and Paul studied for their exam.||They’re working on a new school project.|
|Don’t go there!||Joe’s aunt and uncle have asked him to feed their cats while they are away.||They’re from Illinois.|
Uses of there
There is a very frequently used word in English, usually meaning something like “in that place” (as opposed to “here”: “in this place”). The table below summarizes the various uses of the word.
|Part of speech||Function||Example|
|Adverb||Meaning “in/at/to that place” or “at that point in time”||Steve wants to go there on his holidays.
She stopped there and looked at her phone.
|Pronoun||Used to introduce a word or clause
Used as an indefinite substitute for someone’s name
|There is going to be trouble tonight.
|Noun||Meaning “that place or position” or “that point”||It is neither here nor there.
I’ll prepare the food, and you can take it from there.
|Adjective||Used to provide emphasis
Meaning “capable of being relied on for help”
|Grab that book there.
I’ll be there for you if you need me.
|Interjection||Used to express feelings of relief, approval, encouragement, and consolation||There! The job is done.
There, I knew you could do it.
There, that’s it.
There, there, it will be okay.
Their is the possessive form of the third-person plural pronoun “they.” It means “belonging to them” and is used to modify a noun.
Though originally plural, “their” is often used instead of “his or her” in instances where the gender of a person is unknown or irrelevant. This is particularly common in conversation and informal writing, but it’s now also recommended in academic styles like APA Style.
They’re (contraction of they are)
They’re is a contraction (a shortened version) of “they are,” consisting of the third-person plural pronoun “they” and the verb “are.” In academic writing, contractions are considered too informal, so you should always write “they are” in full in an academic text.
Worksheet: Their vs. there vs. they’re
You can test your understanding of the difference between “their,” “there,” and “they’re” with the worksheet below. Fill in “their,” “there,” or “they’re” in each sentence.
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
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