- (used to refer to a generic or unspecified person previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context): Someone left their book on the table.A parent should read to their child.
- (used to refer to a specific or known person previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context): I’m glad my teacher last year had high expectations for their students.
- (used to refer to a nonbinary or gender-nonconforming person previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context): My cousin Sam is bad at math, but their other grades are good.
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Origin of their
Words nearby their
THEIR VS. THERE VS. THEY'RE
What’s the difference between their, there, and they're?
Their is the possessive form of the personal pronoun they, essentially meaning belonging to or possessed by them, as in Is that their car, or ours? There is commonly used to introduce sentences or to indicate where something is, as in It’s over there, next to the window. They’re is a contraction of they are.
There are many instances in which they’re confused because their pronunciations are exactly the same. (See what we did there?)
There are easy ways to remember which spelling is right, and they’re actually built into each word.
You can remember that their is the one that’s used to show possession (like his and her) by remembering that it includes the word heir (a person who inherits possessions).
When it’s used to indicate location, there functions a lot like here (even though it can mean the opposite), and the word here is right inside of it.
The apostrophe in they’re indicates that it’s a combination of two words and signals that it’s the one you want to use when you mean they are.
Here’s an example of their, there, and they’re used correctly in the same sentence.
Example: It’s hard to work as a team in that environment—when they’re in there, they’re their own worst enemies.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between their, there, and they’re.
Quiz yourself on their vs. there vs. they're!
In what order should their, there, and they’re be used in the following sentence?
_____ shoes are over _____, right next to where _____ sitting.
A. their, there, they’re
B. there, they’re, their
C. they’re, their, there
D. their, they’re, there
Example sentences from the Web for their
The force that inspires defiant videos and top-of-their-lungs screeching tweens is, in fact, a media-shy 43-year old Swedish… man.Taylor Swift’s Secret Music Man: Max Martin, Elusive Hitmaker|Debra A. Klein|October 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There were housing projects, and some truly derelict hotels where the very-down-on-their-luck lived.
Issa is in the Republicans-lost-their-way camp, saying his party spent way too much in the Bush years.
One daring exception to this lineup of standees-by-their men was the second wife of Newt Gingrich.
I call that one: The Canadians-Are-Indeed-Nicer-and-Their-Side-of-the-Falls-More-Spectacular-Too One.
Again Rome had to gasp for breath, and again the two were fiercely locked-their corded arms as tense as serpents.A Cumberland Vendetta|John Fox, Jr.
We may, however, settle it that Mr. Plan-others-their-work could put all the harvest he ever had in his waistcoat pocket!Broken Bread|Thomas Champness
Such was the education of the Spartans with regard to one of the greatest of their-kings.The Social Contract & Discourses|Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Oak, hickory and beech—clean, vast, in-their-prime forest-men—with thorn and dogwood growing between.Child and Country|Will Levington Comfort
In our desperate state, anything seemed fair in love or war with such hard, worth-their-weight-in-gold people.Everyman's Land|C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson