Just like you're and your, these three words are commonly abused through inappropriate usage.
THEY'RE is what you use to contract the two words they and are.
- They're going to the mall.
- They're two peas in a pod.
- They're bringing the kids to the park.
THERE is a real or imaginary place. You can also use it to let people know something exists, like so:
- The stack of money is over there.
- There is a huge stack of money on my desk.
- There will be a test on grammar this afternoon.
THEIR means something belongs to those people (whomever you're talking about).
- That is their stack of money, not yours.
- Their grades on the test reflected their poor grammar skills.
- Their husbands are watching football.
If you want to get really fancy, you could say:
They're bringing their kids to that park - the one over there.
Have you encountered abuse of these words? What advice do you have for people struggling to remember the differences between them?
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© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on FreeFreelanceWritingTips.Blogspot.com, it's stolen.
Freelance Writing Tips by Angie Papple Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at freefreelancewritingtips.blogspot.com.
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