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There, they’re and their

30 May

This should be a popular one as it’s a very common set of mix-ups (and I know it’s not a pair, but a trio: think of it as a Bank Holiday Bonus)

There – regarding a place

Their – possessive of “they” – belonging to them

They’re – less formal, abbreviated form of “they are”

 

They are visiting a female relation who lives on the other side of the valley: “They’re visiting their aunt, who lives over there”.

That’s it, really!

For more troublesome pairs, have a look at the category cloud to your lower right, or click here!

 
 

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3 responses to “There, they’re and their

  1. Arthur

    June 3, 2011 at 10:41 am

    It’s funny, this. It’s one of the things my English girlfriend does wrong quite a lot (esp. in SMS) and then blames it on ‘typing fast’. Rubbish, I say – you can also type the correct word fast, if you thought about it a sec. Even I don’t make those mistakes, and English isn’t even my first language! :)

     
    • Liz at Libro

      June 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

      Thanks for your comment, Arthur. It is an easy one to miss, and I see it lots, even among people I’d expect to know the rule …

      Actually, thinking about it, I seem to only see it with English native speakers; I work a lot with ESOL speakers and that’s not one they tend to make. They probably don’t seem so similar and thus interchangeable if you’ve had to learn English as a second language?

       

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