Correct grammar is the basis for a well-written paper or article. “There,” “their,” and “they’re” are regularly misused homophones.  A homophone is a word that sounds the same as another word but is different in meaning. In this case, speaking any of these three words in conversation is all right. But on paper, you have to know which one to use to make a correct account or question.

Whether you are writing an academic paper, persuasive essay, or professional article–or even a text, post, or tweet–it is essential to write in proper grammar. The main reason is that you will lose ground with your reader if you don’t. Improper grammar sticks out like a sore thumb and drowns out any great content you may have. Some professors even stop reading a paper, hand it back to the student and tell them to fix all the grammar, otherwise, he will fail them. Yes, there are such things as grammar-crazy people! But the uses of these words are incredibly simple to distinguish.

Here you go!

When do I use There, Their, or They’re?


“They’re” means “they are.” If you can replace the word “they’re” with the phrase “they are,” you are using the word correctly.

They’re (They are) going to the movie later.

Do you know why they’re (they are) drinking that?

They’re (They are) no fun.



“There” has many more uses. Check out:

There she is!

There are many ideas to choose from.

Was there a thunderstorm today?



“Their” is used strictly for ownership. If you can replace the word “their” with the word “her,” then you are using it correctly.

Their house is close to mine.

I don’t know how, but you could feel their pain.

What was the point of their argument exactly?

Originally posted 10/11/2011 and happily updated 10/25/2017. Thanks for reading!

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