There, their, they're - notice they have the same sound but different spelling and meaning.

They're called homophones, and we're looking at how to remember which one to use by using spelling strategies such as memory tricks, and word-within-a-word,

When we're typing quickly and thinking about the content we sometimes automatically write the first homophone that springs into our minds and that's why we need to always, always proofread and go over our emails and writing to check to see that we haven't used the wrong there, they're, their.

Let's look at there and its usages and common phrases and see how we can remember it

there - Where are they? Over there!
There's the cinema over there.
We can use it with There is / there was
plural version - there are/ there were

We have phrases such as:
Been there done that!
There and then.
There you go!
There you have it!

Let's look at a strategy to help you see if you're using the right word:

Look at the word. Can you see a word within the word that means place just like there?

There's an here in there - here there where nowhere everywhere

So there you have it there - here, where

Let's look at they're

they're is a contraction /short form of they are

They’re happy. They’re Australian. They’re nurses. They're not New Zealanders

The strategy you need to use to see if you're using the right one is to read back your sentences and read they're in the long form as they are and see if it fits.

Is this sentence correct?
They're nurses over they're. (Read it back using the full "they are")
They are nurses over they are. x Oops! The first is right second not.

They're nurse over their. What's wrong with this sentence?
They're nurses over there. √

Let's look at their which is used for possession and belonging to.

my house, your, house, his house, her house, our house - their house

Their country is in turmoil at the moment.
They have a problem with their house.

The memory trick I use is around the i i = my so my house or their house
It's not my house it's their house.

Which sentence is correct?
1. They're car is brand new.
2. There car is brand new.
3. Their car is brand new.


1. They're car is brand new. x (They are car! x)
2. There car is brand new. x (Here, there car! x)
3. Their car is brand new. √ (My car, no Their car √)

spelling tests

Let's do a little test

Are these right?
1. Their are loads of people over there.
2. They're job is so important.
3. They're so happy.
4. Have you been there before?
5. Where's there car parked?

Answers below


If you'd like to master these words and other difficult homophones like it/its, we're where, bear, bear, you're your then click here and pop over to check out my Homophones Masterclass

Answers
1. There are loads of people over there.
2. Their job
3. They are/ They're so happy.
4. Have you been there before?
5. Where's their car parked?

How did you do?

**click here to do a spelling test**

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