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*Asterisk = examples of errors or poor constructions*.

Student Learning: Grammar

Common vocabulary mistakes

There or their or they're

There, their and they're. All three are pronounced the same, and this causes students to confuse them in writing.

  1. 1.1  There:

    There generally suggests direction or physical placement (notice it contains the word 'here' in it, which also suggests place), or has a more abstract meaning when used in conjunction with is/are to suggest the existence of something.

The book has been sitting there for some time.

There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.

There's no end in sight for the issue of corruption in Russia.

  1. 1.2  Their:

    Their is a possessive adjective and means only one thing: that something belongs to them.

It was not in their best interests to miss the exam.

Their mother had been a great influence on them.

  1. 1.3 They're:

    They're is a contraction of they are, and that is the only meaning it has.

The security guard saw them stealing, and now they're being held until the police arrive.

They're being removed for their own safety.