Never Get Confused by There, Their, and They’re Again

The cover image contains the mnemonics you need

  • They’re is short for They are. An apostrophe is ALWAYS a contraction*. It is a replacement for one (or sometimes more) letters, e.g. I’ll is short for I will, and the apostrophe takes the place of wi. In the case of They’re, the apostrophe takes the place of the a in are.
  • Their is about possession. “Whose book is that? It’s theirs.” The way to remember this is that Their contains both a he and an I, which are pronouns for people. Their is about people’s things.
  • There is about location. The way to remember this is that There contains here, which is a location. “Is it here? No it is there.”
*For people who get confused by an apostrophe indicating possession, e.g. "it is the king's crown".An old outdated version of English used to use -es to indicate possession. So the crown of the king was the kinges crown. Somewhere along the way, the e in kinges was contracted with an apostrophe. This fascinating blog from Merriam Webster describes this in more detail.

Mnemonics and Grammar Corrections

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vaibhav Gupta

Professional technical writer, 2x Distinguished Toastmaster. I write about mental health and self-awareness. Also see https://medium.com/thorough-and-unkempt