What Are Some Of The Biggest Grammar Pet Peeves?

Let’s talk about some grammar pet peeves. We all have them. What are yours?

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Idioms about there

    been there, done that, Informal. (used to say that you have experienced or are familiar with something and now think it is boring or of little worth): A big house in the suburbs? Been there, done that.

Origin of there

before 900; Middle English (adv.), Old English thǣr thēr, cognate with Dutch daar,Old High German dār; akin to Gothic, Old Norse thar;cf. that

grammar notes for there

7. The verb following there is singular or plural according to the number of the subject that follows the verb: There is a message for you. There are patients in the waiting room. With compound subjects in which all the coordinate words are singular, a singular verb often occurs, although the plural may also be used: There was (or were ) a horse and a cow in the pasture. When a compound subject contains both singular and plural words, the verb usually agrees with the subject closest to the verb, although a plural verb sometimes occurs regardless, especially if the compound has more than two elements: There were staff meetings and a press conference daily. There was (or were ) a glass, two plates, two cups, and a teapot on the shelf.

usage note for there

11. It is nonstandard usage to place there between a demonstrative adjective and the noun it modifies: that there car. The same is true of here : these here nails. Placed after the noun, both there and here are entirely standard: that car there; these nails here.


their, there , they're

Other definitions for there (2 of 2)


a combining form meaning “wild animal, beast,” used in the formation of compound words, usually denoting extinct mammals, as adaptions of zoological taxa ending in -therium or -theria: baluchithere.

Origin of -there

<New Latin -therium (singular), -theria (plural) <Greek thēríon, derivative of thḗr beast of prey; akin to feral1, fierce
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What’s the difference between there, their, and they're?

There is commonly used to introduce sentences or to indicate where something is, as in It’s over there, next to the window. 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? 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.

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.

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).

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 there, their, 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 there, their, and they’re.

Quiz yourself on there vs. their vs. they're!

In what order should there, their, 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

How to use there in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for there

Word Origin for there

Old English thǣr; related to Old Frisian thēr, Old Saxon, Old High German thār, Old Norse, Gothic thar

usage for there

In correct usage, the verb should agree with the number of the subject in such constructions as there is a man waiting and there are several people waiting. However, where the subject is compound, it is common in speech to use the singular as in there's a police car and an ambulance outside
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with there


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.