There, Their, They’re: How Are They Different?

by Arushi Gupta

Too and to. Week and weak. Your and you’re. And now there, their, they’re. When spoken aloud, these word pairs sound exactly alike, but they are spelled differently and mean different things, making them a reason for confusion while writing.  

There, their, there are used very commonly and can be tricky to identify, especially to new students or English language learners. Let’s break down their right usage in this blog through some explanations and examples.  

Their vs. there vs. they’re – What do they mean and when to use them

There, their, they’re can leave you baffled if you don’t understand their usages correctly. Let us look at the definition of the three words separately, one by one.  

What does there mean?

“There” is an adverb that signifies a place or location. It is used to refer to something that is located at a place or to introduce a sentence. For example: 

  • “She is over there by the tree.” 
  • There is a pen on the desk.” 
  • There are many people at the party.” 

What does their mean?

“Their” is a possessive pronoun that shows ownership. It is used to indicate that something belongs to a person or group. For example: 

  • Their car is parked in the garage.” 
  • “The children love their new toys.” 
  • “The couple is proud of their new house.” 
Common writing errors in academic writing

What does they’re mean?

“They’re” is a contraction of “they are.” It is used to combine the pronoun “they” with the verb “are.” For example: 

  • They’re going to the movies tonight.” 
  • “I think they’re excited about the party.” 
  • They’re not sure if they can make it.” 

Understand the difference between there, their, and they’re with examples

Let’s look at some examples to understand the difference between there, their, and they’re. 

  • “There” – There are many books on the shelf. 
  • “Their” – The children are playing with their toys. 
  • “They’re” – They’re going to the park to play soccer. 
  • “There” – The store is over there on the right. 
  • “Their” – The family is going on their vacation next week. 
  • “They’re” – They’re planning a surprise party for their friend. 
  • “There” – There is no food left in the kitchen. 
  • “Their” – The couple is painting their living room. 
  • “They’re” – They’re leaving to meet the family at the restaurant. 


With these definitions in mind and some examples to guide you, you can now use there, their, they’re confidently and correctly in your research writing.  

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