Confusing words: they’re, their, there

English learners often have a problem with they’re, their and there because these words have the same pronunciation despite having different spellings and meanings.

We call words like this homophones.

Here are some typical mistakes with they’re, their and there:

  • I saw there daughter yesterday.
  • I saw their daughter yesterday
  • The children were ill last week but their fine now.
  • They’re fine now. ✓
  • Please wait their for me.
  • Please wait there for me. ✓

there, their, they're difference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Example sentences

  • Do you live in London? How long have you lived there?
  • Jack and Jill are quite wealthy. Their kids go to a private school.
  • Pete and Liz have two kids; they’re eleven and nine.
  • Can you see that sign over there?
  • Tigers are carnivores. Their food includes deer and antelope.

Want to test yourself? You can see a they’re, their, there exercise here.

 

Stuart is an English teacher and runs the Speakspeak website. He currently lives in Prague and has been teaching for over 20 years. Follow Stuart and contact him by subscribing to his monthly newsletter.

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