Thursday, January 20, 2011

❏This vs That ❐: ✎There vs. Their vs. They're

Welcome to Thursday's

These 3 words in the English language are probably the most commonly misused words. Even I, myself misuse them every once in awhile when I'm rushing through transcripts so I'm constantly
re-checking and double-checking when really it's second nature to me so I shouldn't have to be checking anything at all! lol
Anyways, let's get on with the lesson...

Right off the top we'll get They're out of the way since it's the most easiest to understand and least likely to be misused. Why? Simply because they're may sound like the rest, but it's just a contraction of the words they are.  Therefore, if you use it in a sentence, just substitue 'they are' and if it doesn't make sense - then you know you are not using it correctly!

For example:
They're going to the store after work. (Right)
We shall ask the shop owner if they're going to close on Christmas Day. (Right)
Steve went over they're. (Wrong)

Got it? Good!

Use There when referring to a place, whether concrete ("over there by the building") or more abstract ("it must be difficult to live there").

For example:

  • There is an antique store on Camden Avenue.
  • The science textbooks are over there on the floor.
  • There are many documents that are used in investigations.

Also use There with the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.
  • There is a picnic table near the tree over by the lake. 
  • "I see there are new flowers coming up in your garden." "Yes, they are the ones my grandmother gave me last year."

Use Their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.
  • My friends have lost their tickets.
  • Their books were scattered all over the kitchen floor.
There you go!  Now you know what each one really means and when to use it.
The trick is spelling the appropriate one, correctly!

Sorry, I can't help you with that other than to say that practice makes perfect and someday it will become something you do without thinking!

Resource:  wikihow

Today's Grammar Blooper:

Can you spot the error?

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