They’re, Their, There

Ok.

This is getting to me in a big way.
I read a ton of stuff on the intarwebs, and I have noticed that people get one thing CONSISTENTLY WRONG.

The use of there, their and they’re.

So for all you pre-adolescent netizens out there here is a piece of advice.

Think about how you are going to use there/their/they’re in the sentence and apply the following simple rules

  1. Replace the word in the sentence with they are. If the sentence still looks right then use they’re.
  2. Are you talking about a possesion belonging to someone (emotions/objects/etc i.e. something that belongs to them)?. Then use their.
  3. In all other cases use there.

Lets try an example;
Their was a large tree over they’re at one time.
Ok. This has two instances. Let’s look at the second one and apply the first rule.

Their was a large tree over they are at one time.
Oops. Use of the they’re just does not make sense as it is a contraction of they are and putting in they are renders the sentence nonsense.
So lets try the second form their.

Their was a large tree over their at one time.
If we use the possessive their it also does not make sense. Their what? And who does his unknown thing belong to?
So it must be there

Their was a large tree over there at one time
But the first usage is also wrong for the same reason and must therefore also be there.

There was a large tree over there at one time
Yay! Finally a sentence that makes sense.

Keep these simple rules in mind. Thanks.

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