Their | there | they're

Video: There, their, and they're from LDG Huddersfield (new tab). (Watching time: 50secs)

All three are pronounced the same when spoken, and this causes students to confuse them when writing.

Complete the quiz items below to see if you have understood this lesson. Then click the blue arrow at the bottom of the page to check your answers.

Instructions: Hover or tap the questions below to see the reason for the answers given in the quiz.

1. Select the correct word for each gap so that the sentences form a short narrative.

  they're there their
i) The people over ______ are crazy.
ii) _____ the sort of people who...
iii) ... would endanger ____ own friends.
iv) _____'s too much excitement for me!

i) there ii) They're iii) their iv) There
Why: 1. there meaning place or direction 2. 'They're' (They are) as sentence subject pronoun and verb (referring to the people who are crazy) 3. their for ownership — the friends belonging to them, and 4. 'There' as in There is — abstract meaning of there when the subject of the sentence appears after the verb 'is | are'. (See: Merriam Webster's explanation.)

2. Three of the following sentences are correct and one is incorrect. Select the three correct sentences
☐ i) Why are there so many errors? They're driving me crazy!
☐ ii) Ben wants to know if there busy tonight.
☐ iii) I don't think I can help them with all their problems.
☐ iv) Gosh, there are some strange students over there.

i) iii) iv)
Why: The incorrect sentence (ii) is wrong because there doesn't make sense - the sentence should say: Ben wants to know if they're (they are) busy tonight.

3. Select a sentence from below if it contains the idea of something belonging to some people.
☐ i) There are many things they may do.
☐ ii) There can be many consequences for their behaviour.
☐ iii) It's up to them. It's their choice.
☐ iv) There's going to be some trouble for them.

Why: The sentences that have their are the ones that make reference to ownership / belonging.

4. Type the words they're, their, there in the order that they correctly appear in the sentence below. (Put a single space between them).
____ they are! _____ so tied up in _______ own affairs that they didn't even see us.

there | they're | their
Why: there = signalling location | they're = subject (and verb) | their = ownership (the affairs belonging to them).