Commonly Confused Words: There vs. Their vs. They’re

Nothing will raise more of an uproar on the Internet than using there, their, and they’re the wrong way. If you want to protect your online writing reputation and avoid snarky remarks from your friends, it’s important that you understand how to use these three similar words correctly.

There vs. Their vs. They’re at a Glance

Here are some simple rules when trying to figure out the difference between their, they’re and there:

  • There is used to refer to a physical or abstract place.
  • Their is used to show possession and is usually followed by a noun.
  • They’re can be used as a substitute for the phrase they are.

When To Use There

There are two main uses for the word there. First, you can use it to refer to a physical place. Second, you can use it while referring to an unspecified place.


There is an old, abandoned house up the road that I think is haunted.

– We plan on going over there to talk about why people should eat more broccoli.

When To Use Their

Their is similar to other possessive adjectives like his, her, its, my, yours, and our. If you can’t decide if you’ve used their correctly, try replacing it with the word our. If your sentence still makes sense, then you can pat yourself on the back for using their the right way.


Their new puppy is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life.

– If you’re looking for their secret Crabby Patty recipe, you probably won’t be able to find it.

When To Use They’re

They’re is simply a contraction of the term they are. If you can use they’re and they are interchangeably in a sentence, you’re good to go.


– I can’t figure out why they’re never able to stay up past 7 p.m. when they come over.

They’re going to Costa Rica and won’t be back for another 15 years.

Their vs. They’re vs. There: You’ve Got This

Now that you know the difference between there, their, and they’re, you can go out there and conquer the Internet. What are some other commonly confused words you have a hard time figuring out?


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