Their, there, and they’re
First, it’s important to remember that all three words sound the same. Spelling and context are what help you understand which word is meant.
You use their when something belongs to something or someone. It’s a possessive pronoun.
- Ben and Stella wanted to show me their new dog.
You use there to show where something is. It’s an adverb of place.
- Ben and Stella let their dog run over there in the new park.
You use they’re when we mean “they are”. It’s a contraction of the two words.
- They’re letting their dog run without a leash.
INSTRUCTIONS: Choose their, there or they’re to complete the sentences below. Remember to use appropriate capitalization and punctuation.
- __________________ responsible for their actions.
- __________________ she goes, running as usual.
- __________________ mother is waiting for them in the car.
- __________________ OK.
- I like my friends. __________________ so cool.
- __________________ is no place like home.
- He thinks __________________ food is delicious.
- I went to __________________ house yesterday.
- It’s over __________________ .
- __________________ house is over __________________, but __________________ not home right now.
Them and those
In standard English, you don’t use them if a person, place, or thing follows the word.
- Please pass me some of
Some people do use this construction in very informal, non-standard English, but it is not common in academic writing.
You use those instead of them if a person, place, or thing follows the word.
- Please pass me some of those vegetables.
Or, use them alone.
- Please pass me some of them.
INSTRUCTIONS: Choose them or those to complete each sentence below. Remember to use appropriate capitalization and punctuation.
- Ask __________________ what to do.
- What are __________________ workers doing on the bridge?
- Ask __________________ people what to do.
- Do you have more of __________________ cupcakes?
- __________________ kids are very smart.
- I like __________________ shoes more than I like these shoes.
- I don’t know about __________________.
- Hang up __________________ coats!
- Let’s go ask __________________.
- __________________ are very nice sunglasses!