there OR their OR they're?
These three terms have the same pronunciation but very different meanings.
there = not here
their = belonging to them
they're = they are
The word there is an adverb of place, basically the opposite of "here". We use it in sentences like these:
- I went there last week.
- Shall we sit here or there?
We also use there in phrases like:
- I think there is someone at the door.
- Is there a police station nearby?
- There is safety in numbers.
Note that in speech "there is" is often contracted to "there's":
- There's a man at the door.
- Do you think there's any possibility he'll come?
The word their is a plural possessive adjective for people or things, similar to the singular his, her and its:
- Anthony must have come. This is his car.
- Ram and Kirsty must have come. This is their car.
Here are some example sentences:
- Parents always want the best for their children.
- I could hear their voices but I couldn't see them.
- These are my keys and these are their keys.
- When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom.
This is a contraction (short form) of "they are". Look at these examples:
- They're happy.
- They're playing football.
- I wonder why they're not here.
- I guess they're not coming.
Note that in this contraction, "are" can be a main verb or an auxiliary verb:
- They're here (they are here - "are" = main verb)
- They're watching TV (they are watching - "are" = auxiliary verb)
Here is a sentence that contains all three terms:
- They're living in their new house over there.
Check your understanding with our there OR their OR they're Quiz →