#There, #They're or #Their?
Updated: Jun 25, 2018
Even native English speakers get these three mixed up, but it's really very simple when you know the rules. Learn how to tell the difference between the three, so you don't get tripped up by this small grammar mistake, and get to know some useful idioms and phrases while you're at it.
1. THERE (adverb):
Meaning and Usage
1) in, at, or to that place or position e.g. Have you been to Paris? I've never been there.
2) used when pointing to indicate the place in mind e.g. Put the bags down over there.
3) in that respect, on that issue e.g. Well I'm sorry, but I don't agree with you there.
4) attract somebody's attention e.g. There goes the phone.
5) indicate the existence of something e.g. There's a good Chinese restaurant just around the corner.
Idioms/Phrases with 'there'
Been there, done that, (bought the t-shirt): used to talk about something you've done before, which you now consider a bit boring because you've already experienced it
Be there for somebody: be available to provide support or comfort to somebody
Have been there before (informal): know all about an experience or situation
Here and there: in various places
Not all there: (of a person) not functioning properly or fully alert
So there!: to express defiance that somebody will not like what you have decided or what you are saying
There and then: immediately (referring to a past moment) "she just stood up and sang, there and then!"
There goes...: used to express the destruction or failure of something "there goes my reputation..."
There it is: that is the situation "pretty ridiculous, I know, but there it is!"
There you are/go: indicating you are giving somebody what they wanted
There you go again: criticising somebody for behaving in a way that is typical of them
There you have it: used to emphasise or draw attention to something
2. THEY'RE (contraction):
Meaning and Usage:
They're is simply a contraction (or 'squashing-together' of two words) of 'they' and 'are'. They + are = they're.
Easy peasy, right?!
Phrases with 'they're'
A: Where are they? B: They're [they are] just parking the car.
Socks are really useful. They're [they are] especially handy when your feet are cold.
Be nice to those children, they're [they are] only little.
3. THEIR (possessive pronoun):
Meaning and Usage:
Their is used as a possessive determiner. This means it refers to something that belongs to, or is associated with, the people/things previously mentioned.
Phrases with 'their'
Mum and Dad will be arriving shortly in their new car. I can't wait to see what it's like.
Their arguing was finally too much to bear, and she lost control.
They were going to visit their grandparents for the weekend in London.
It is also used, if you cannot say 'her' or 'his' because you don't know the sex of the person in question.
Who was that person loudly blowing their nose in the middle of the performance?!
That person has parked their car so badly that I can't get out. They've parked me in!
So, there you have it! There goes your excuse for not understanding the difference between these three... after all they're really rather easy, aren't they? ;)