They're, there and their: clearing up the confusion

There, their and they’re are often confused in written English.

  • They’re is a contractions of they are
  • There is a adverb of place or a pronoun
  • Their is a possessive pronoun

Examples

They’re (= they are)

  • They’re friends of my parents
  • That group is Chinese, they’re from Beijing
  • They’re both coming to dinner.

Their (possessive pronoun)

  • Their children go to school with mine.
  • Can you find their hotel reservation?
  • Their car is at the garage so they are taking the train.

There (adverb of place)

  • Put it there where I can see it.
  • I saw a lot of people there yesterday.
  • He has worked there for two years.

There (pronoun)

  • There are a lot of people in India.
  • Is there some more coffee?
  • There has been a lot of rain this week.

See also

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