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Their, There and They're

It's no secret that English is one of the more difficult languages to learn how to read and write. It's filled with words that sound the same but have duplicate spellings and meanings. One of the most confusing parts of the English language is learning the difference between the three "theres": their, there, and they're. Each word is pronounced the same way, but each spelling of the word has a very different meaning. Here is a quick and easy guide to telling the their, there, and they're apart.

Their

"Their" is a possessive pronoun. "Their" is used when you want to indicate that something belongs to someone else. It is a possessive adjective, and is used in the same way that the words "my", "your", "her", "his", "our", and "its" are used. A little trick that you can use to make sure that you're using the right "their" is to replace it in the sentence with the word "our". Since both are used as plurals, they can usually be interchanged. If your sentence still makes sense, then you're using the correct "their".

Examples:

"That blue bag is their suitcase".

"Their plane is leaving soon".

There

"There" is used when you are referring to a place. You use "there" when making reference to a place, whether it's a specific place (first example) or an unspecified/more abstract place (second example). You also use "there" when describing that something exists (third example). When using "there" to describe something exists, use it with a "to be" verb, such as "is","am", "was", "were", and "are". An easy way to test out if you're using the correct "there" is to replace it with the word "here". If it still makes sense, then you are supposed to be using "there".

Examples:

The plane is over there. (Specific place)

It is great to work there. (Unspecified place)

There are three yellow birds. (Three yellow birds exist)

They're

"They're" is the contraction of the phrase "they are". This use of "they're" is an easy one! If you are referring to something that "they are" doing, then you use they're."They're" is always the subject of a sentence and verb of the sentence. You can never use it as a modifier. The easiest way to remember this use of "they're" is to repeat the sentence by replacing "they're" with "they are". You can also try replacing "they're" with "we're" or "we are" to check if you have the right "they're".

Examples:

They're going to go on a walk.

I want to take a nap, but they're waiting for me at the park.

Did you know they're from New York?

They're not happy right now.

Learning the differences between "their", "there", and "they're" can be difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. You can do it!

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