Grammar Nerd: They’re, Their, There
By: Sydnee Bagovich
Let’s start with the easiest one first and then work our way up from there.
They’re: a contraction that is very simply a replacement or substitution for they are. Period! This was covered in an earlier article, if you would like to reference that for further info.
They’re going to Paris.
They are going to Paris.
Their: the possessive form of they.
They made their vacation plans.
The kids (they) packed their lunches and left for the bus.
There: This is the one that is left! If you look up there in the dictionary, you will see lots of entries—adverb, pronoun, noun, adjective, interjection… I will go into examples of each of these, but really, the easiest way to know when to use there is when the word is neither a replacement for “they are”, nor showing possession.
adverb: We are going to meet there.
pronoun: There is no way of knowing.
noun: You can figure it out from there.
adjective: I want that one there.
interjection: There! Power restored!
You can memorize all of these, or you can simply do the old process of elimination as mentioned above!
A few more examples:
They’re setting up their camp over there.
There is no way to have predicted their success that they’re celebrating now.
There! They’re all done with their chores.
Stay tuned for a future article about punctuation and quotation marks. I have received a few requests for that one.
If you have a question, if something is tripping you up in the world of grammar, send me an email. I will do my best to help you! firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I would love to hear your comments about this and other articles that I have written.
Sydnee Bagovich provides professional proofreading services for your business: websites, brochures, presentations… You write it. She makes it right. You can reach her via email at email@example.com, on the web at www.thegrammarnerd.com, on Twitter @thegrammarnerd, and on Facebook, the grammar nerd.