- Hello Grammarians! Today I want to talk about one of the absolute thorniest issues
in usage of English. And it's the difference between
there, their and they're. And if you can't tell the difference from the way I'm saying it that's because it's
really confusing and evil. And that is why I'm here. Is to help you make a distinction between these three sound alike words. Now, first of all we have there T-H-E-R-E which we're gonna use orange for is an adverb and an adjective. And it's used to signify
where something is. So the way to remember that
this one is all about location is just to take the "T"
and replace it with a "W". The question is "Where?"
and the answer is "There". So, "Have you been to
Greece? Yes, I went there." I have not gone there. "Have you seen my dog?
Yes, there's my dog!" So you asked the question,
"Where did you go? I went there. "Where is my dog? There is my dog." And technically this is
an adverbial use, here. "There" is modifying "went". And here is an adjectival use. Because "there" is modifying "dog". The second member of this confusing trio is their T-H-E-I-R which
is a possessive determiner. Let's just call that a possessive. So this is when something belongs to a "they" and it's an adjective. So let's just call this
a possessive adjective for some, for a "they". "Sue and Frieda ate
their ice cream cones." So T-H-E-I-R, the possessive
answers the question "Who does that belong to?" So rounding out our trio, the last member of the there, their, they're
riders of the apocalypse is T-H-E-Y-'-R-E which is a
contraction of "they are". So anywhere you would
want to say "they are" you can smosh that
together and say "they're". So, "Hey kid, are your parents home? "No, they're not home right
now, can I take a message?" So you can see in this sentence "They're not home right
now, can I take a message?" they're, T-H-E-Y-'-R-E,
is replacing "they are". Both of these things would work equally well in the sentence. They're both grammatical,
one's just shorter. And as we know, English
as with most languages likes to take the easy route. Finding the shortest possible or most efficient option if you prefer. So as a writer and speaker of English you're going to come across
this situation a lot. Which one of these things do you use? And so when you come across
this thorny little issue "Do I use there, their or they're?" you have to ask yourself
a series of questions. Questions #1, "Does it answer
the question 'where is it'?" If so, use T-H-E-R-E. If the use answers the question,
"Who does it belong to?" then you use T-H-E-I-R. If what you're trying to say
is a contraction of "they are" then what you're looking
for is T-H-E-Y-'-R-E. I know it's confusing but
you can learn anything. David out!