Monday, February 2, 2009

Today's lesson: They're, their and there

Reading has occupied much of my scarce spare time lately. It takes a lot to irritate me, but the recent spate of misusing the words there, their and they’re has steam rolling out my ears. So, here’s today’s lesson on the proper usage of there, their and they’re.

First – THEY’RE

This is a contraction. It means they are. That’s all it is – ever!

Second – THERE

The primary use of there is as a location. “It’s there.” “Go over there.” They live there.”

As an adverb, it is:
1. used to introduce sentences in which a state, fact etc is being announced. "There has been an accident at the factory; There seems to be something wrong; I don't want there to be any mistakes in this. "

2. means at that time; at that point in a speech, argument etc. "There I cannot agree with you; Don't stop there – tell me what happened next!"

3 (with the subject of the sentence following the verb except when it is a pronoun) used at the beginning of a sentence, usually with be or go, to draw attention to, or point out, someone or something. "There she goes now! There it is! "

4 (placed immediately after noun) used for emphasis or to point out someone or something. "That book there is the one you need."

As an interjection, it is
1 used to calm or comfort. "There, now. Things aren't as bad as they seem."

2 used when a person has been shown to be correct, when something bad happens, or when something has been completed. "There! I told you he would do it! There! That's that job done. There! I said you would hurt yourself!"

The primary point here is; there is not a person or persons – ever!

Third – THEIR

This is a possessive form of THEY

As an adjective

1 belonging to them. "This is their car. Take a note of their names and addresses."

2 used instead of his, his or her etc where a person of unknown sex or people of both sexes are referred to. " Everyone should buy his own ticket. Everyone should buy their own ticket."

As a pronoun,
a person, thing etc belonging to them. "The child is theirs. He’s a friend of theirs. He’s one of their friends."

Their is not a location – ever!

Please, please, please – I beg you – use them correctly.

All assistance courtesy of

Are you using these words correctly? What word misuse sends steam rolling from your ears?