There, they're, their!

Three dogs


There, They're, Their!

They're confusing little homophones, but their meanings are quite different and can change the sense of what you're trying to say. Here are a few guidelines to choosing the right one:

There: Means 'in that place' or 'at that point'. Think about where and when.

They're: Is an abbreviated form of 'They are'. Note apostrophe for the missing letter 'a'. Think about who or what.

Their(s): Is 'possessive' and is used when something belongs to more than one individual. Think about whose.

Examples using 'There':

  • There are three dogs in the picture.
  • Look over there!
  • The dogs sat there waiting to go for a walk.
  • There were lots of people on the bus.

Examples using 'They're':

  • Look at the dogs. They're waiting patiently.
  • They're all going for a walk soon.
  • You can see they're happy.
  • The children said they're busy doing homework.

Examples using 'Their':

  • The dogs are waiting for their walk.
  • If they sit still, their owner will reward them.
  • Their eyes are bright and their tails are wagging.
  • What will they say when they get their prizes?
  • Theirs was the best house in town!

Examples using all three homophones:

  • There are three dogs here and they're all waiting to go on their walk.
  • Look at the people over there! They're all sitting reading their newspapers.
  • There are lots of happy children at the seaside and they're all playing with their buckets and spades.
  • Can you tell whether they're happier now that they have moved their caravan over there?
  • There were thirteen entries in the competition, but theirs was the best one there and they're really happy!