They’re/Their/There

What’s the difference between they’re, their and there?

Their, they’re and there are pronounced the same but have different meanings, meaning that they are easily confused in written English — sometimes even native speakers mix them up! Read on to learn the difference between these three little words to help you avoid embarrassing mistakes in your written English. Don‘t forget to test yourself in the free exercises.

Example

Where are Saskia and Kevin? They’re late!

Perhaps their car has broken down.

Look! There they are and there are some people with them!

They’re

They’re is the contracted form of they are. They is the personal pronoun for the 3rd person plural, it refers to two or more people.

Example:
Where are Saskia and Kevin? They’re late!

Their

Their is a possessive determiner. We use their with nouns to indicate possession in the 3rd person plural: it shows that something belongs to two or more people.

Example:
Perhaps their car has broken down?

There

There is an adverb:

  • use it to indicate place
Example:
Look! There they are.
  • use it with verbs such as be, seem, appear to show that something exists
Example:
There are some other people with them.