They're, Their, There

They're, their, and there are English homophones.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

In speaking, these words are said the same, but they have very different meanings

They are very common in the English language, so it is important that you know how to use them correctly when writing.

They're = contraction for They + are

Their = shows ownership

There = at that place, opposite of here


"They're" is a contraction for the words "they" and "are."

"They're" is often (but not always) followed by a verb ending in –ing.

(This form of a verb is called the present participle.)


  • They're going to the movie.

  • I think they're moving to California.

  • Do you know what they're doing?

  • They're watching the kids tonight.

  • They're happy to see her.

  • They're at my home tonight.

  • They're going to be late for the meeting.

    people running


"Their" is a possessive adjective used to show ownership. It shows that something belongs to someone. It is usually followed by a noun.


  • That is their dog.

    (They own the dog.)

  • Their house is blue.

    (The house belongs to them.)

  • Do you know their last name?

    (The name belongs to them.)

  • I enjoyed their wedding.

    (The wedding belonged to them.)

  • Is that their red car?

    (They own the red car.)
red car


"There" can be used in a few different ways. It is most commonly used as an adverb or a pronoun.

1."There"  is usually used as an adverb.

"There" means
  • in or at that place
  • to that place
  • at that point in action

It is the opposite of here.


  • Put the books over there on the table.

    (Put the books at that place on the table.)

  • We went there last week.

    (We went to that place last week.)

  • Do you want to sleep here or there?

    (Do you want to sleep in this place or that place?)

  • The teacher stopped there and answered my question.

    (The teacher stopped at that point and answered my question.)

  • Have you ever been there?

    (Have you ever been to that place?)

  • I am afraid to go in there!

    (I am afraid to go in that place!)
haunted house

2. Sometimes "there" is a pronoun used to introduce a sentence when the verb comes before the subject.

  • There are many trees on that hill.

  • There are many kids in my family.

  • There is no reason to cry.

  • There is a lot of work to do.
man at work

Theirs vs There's

When studying "they're, their, and there's", you must also learn the differences between "theirs" and "there's."

They are also homophones with very different meanings.


"Theirs" also shows ownership, but it is a possessive pronoun. It shows ownership for the subject "they."


  • That house is theirs.

  • Theirs is the blue car.

  • Which dog is theirs?

    three dogs


"There's" is a contraction for the words "there" and "is" or "has."

There's = There + is/has


  • There's the book I want to read.

    (There is the book I want to read.)

  • There's been a lot of arguing about the new law.

    (There has been a lot of arguing about the new law.)

  • There's been too much traffic on the highway.

    (There has been too much traffic on the highway.)

  • There's gold in these mountains!

    (There is gold in these mountains!)


These were the differences of they're, their, and there. Now that you understand, it is time to practice! Get our ESL Books.

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