Dictionary.com

they're

[ thair; unstressed ther ]
/ ðɛər; unstressed ðər /
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contraction of they are.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON PARENTHESES AND BRACKETS APLENTY!

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usage note for they're

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH they're

their, there, they're
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

THEY'RE VS. THEIR VS. THERE

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

They’re is a contraction of they are. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Here’s an example of they’re, their, and there 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 they’re, their, and there.

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

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

Example sentences from the Web for they're

British Dictionary definitions for they're

they're
/ (ðɛə, ˈðeɪə) /

contraction of

they are
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
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