They’re looking for their shoes over there.

They’re, there, and their. These three words are misused daily, and I must admit that although I know the right usage, occasionally I also have keyed in the wrong one. So here’s a quick review on how to use them correctly.

They’re, there, and their sound the same but have different meanings. Knowing when to use which one is simple if you take a few seconds to think about what you want to say before writing.

  • They’re is a contraction, a combination of the two words they and are. If you can substitute They are in the sentence you also can use they’re.
  • There is a place. If the word answers the question, “Where is it?” use the word there. (Notice the word “here” within the word. If it’s not here it’s there.)
  • Their shows ownership. It is the possessive form of they. Whose book is this? It is their book.

Do you have a grammar or writing question? Tell me and I’ll cover it in a future post.

©Mary K. Doyle