A visual prompt to help remember the difference between their, there and they’re.

These three little words, their/they’re/there, are a common source of confusion. Which one do you use and in what context?

  • Their is a possessive pronoun. (“This is their house.”)
  • They’re is a contraction of “they are.”
  • There is an adverb specifying place. (“The entrance to the party is over there.”)

One way of deciding which word to use is to think of the sentence in complete words.

For example, “Their going to go to the cinema” is more obviously incorrect when you spell it out as “They are going to the cinema” which becomes abbreviated to “They’re going to the cinema”.

Think of their as denoting some form of possession. For example, “This is their car.” Their actually has the word heir within it, which is another way of remembering the idea of inheriting or ownership.

Think of there as relating to where something is located. “It is over there.”

In summary, does it denote possession, is it indicating location, or is it a contraction of two words?

If you’re still stuck, you can always employ me as a proofreader 🙂 Connect with me on LinkedIn.