Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teachable moment Tuesday: Their, There, & They're

Back again for another grammar lesson!  I cannot tell you how many times I have seen these words misused and abused by children AND adults; it drives me nuts!  Maybe that is just the OCD in me, but I can't help it.  If you've ever wondered exactly which of the above words to use in a given situation, keep reading!


  • Their-used when referring to a group, especially used to show possession.
    • Ex:  They were told to turn in their homework before class began.  There is used to identify the group of people that the homework belongs to.


  • There-  (the following definitions copied and pasted from Merriam-Webster's website:

                    Definition of THERE

                     1
: in or at that place <stand over there> —often used interjectionally
                     2
: to or into that place : thither <went there after church>
                     3
: at that point or stage <stop right there before you say something you'll regret>
                     4
: in that matter, respect, or relation <there is where I disagree with you>
                     5
used interjectionally to express satisfaction, approval, encouragement or
sympathy, or defiance <there, it's finished>

  • Basically, the word there is used to generalize a location.  
    • see examples above

  • They're-simply a contraction used to join the words they + are
    • Ex:  They're coming over for dinner.  They're is used to shorten and replace the words "They are".  


I hope that this helps any of you who have struggled to know when to use these words!  Feel free to let me know any other words that you would like to see explained :).

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