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The Difference Between Their And There

 
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: December 29, 2017
The Difference Between Their And There

English language is a little bit complicated, as there may be several meanings of the same word. There are certain words that sound similar, but they are entirely different in their meanings and references. That being said, their and there also sound similar. Their pronunciation is almost absolutely same. If you hear these words individually, you will not be able to understand which word you are saying. The only way you can tell the difference is their spelling. If you say the two words in a sentence, the listener may tell the difference by understanding the reference in which they are being used. This oneHOWTO article will talk about these two confusing words, and about the difference between their and there.

You may also be interested in: Difference Between Verbs and Adverbs in English

Uses of ‘There’

To tell the difference between their and there, we'll analyze each of their uses and meanings. The word ‘there’ can be used in different ways, in different instances, to make different references:

Use #1

‘There’ is used as an adverb with an aim to indicate some place that someone is looking at, talking about or pointing to. Usually, the intention is to bring someone’s attention to some place.

Some example sentences that use ‘there’ to indicate a place:

  • You’ll find the train there
  • Women’s washroom is over there
  • I enjoyed a lot there
  • She left a letter there
  • You have to take left turn from there

Use #2

The word ‘there’ can be used as the subject of the verb ‘to be’ in order to indicate that something is present or not present, or to bring attention to it. Some examples:

  • There is a railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • There are some cities that have successfully tackled their problems till date
  • There are opinion differences between the two partners
  • There is nothing under the bed
  • There is no chance we can afford a new car at the moment

Use #3

‘There’ is used with certain verbs in order to indicate something that develops or exists. Whether it is a singular or a plural verb depends on the noun that is to follow. Some examples:

  • There appears no chance of flood this year
  • There stood before me the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • There developed a plan that brought disaster to the city

Use #4

Sometimes, ‘there’ is said or written after ‘hi’ or hello’ in order to greet someone casually. Examples:

  • Hi there
  • Hello there

Use #5

In some sentences, ‘there’ is used to indicate if someone or something is available. Examples:

  • That old building is still there at the end of this street
  • The pamphlet is there to welcome people to a business
  • Don’t buy anything until you are sure there is enough money to afford it

Use #6

Sometimes, ‘there’ is used to talk about a place which the same sentence already has a few words before. Some examples:

  • We went to Switzerland this summer and stayed there for 5 nights
  • I want to go to New York by road, but I don’t know the shortest route to drive till there
  • I’m not sure how would India react to the economic pressures developing there

Use #7

We use ‘there’ in some expressions in order to create a dramatic effect in a sentence or to sum up some part of a story, such as ‘there we are’. Some examples of this use of ‘there’ are:

  • There she was with her new born baby, and she was going crazy
  • There I was, riding my bike, with my hot girlfriend at the back seat

Use #8

Some people use the word ‘there’ while speaking over the telephone and asking about someone. Such as ‘Hello, is James there?’

Use #9

Sometimes, ‘there’ is used to refer to a point someone made during a conversation. Some examples:

  • I think she was right there
  • Please take a pause there Madam
  • She agreed with me there
  • It’s better to leave the topic there

Use #10

‘There’ may be used to talk about a stage that some process or activity has reached till now. Some examples:

  • The Investigation Bureau took the matter from there
  • This edition of the book ended there
  • There arises the question that whether women should go out for job or not

Use #11

‘There’ can be used to refer to something that has reached some level or point and which has been completed or successful. Examples are:

  • We wanted to complete first level of the project by June, but we are not there yet
  • I’m not yet back to my normal life, but I hope to get there soon

Use #12

‘There’ may be used in an expression such as ‘there she is’ or ‘there we go’ while accepting a situation that cannot be altered. Some examples:

  • According to our family history, you should be running the business by this age, but there you go
  • She should have produced two children by now, but there she is unmarried yet

Use #13

‘There’ may be used in an expression to emphasize that something that you said has proved to be right now. Examples:

  • You saw that? There you are. I told you the same thing earlier
  • There you are. I already knew that you would give me that reply
  • I already told you the street’s name. There we are. Look at the signboard

Some other expressions when ‘there’ can be used are:

  • There again
  • There she goes again
  • Then and there
  • There you go
  • Being there for someone, etc.
The Difference Between Their And There - Uses of ‘There’

Uses of ‘Their’

On the other hand, the word ‘their’ is often used to talk about something that relates to or belongs to someone. For instance

  • Both of them openly show off their relationship
  • Dogs are eating their food
  • Trees shed their leaves during autumn

Sometimes, you can use ‘their’ instead of his or her with an aim to not reveal the gender. This use is often not correct grammatically, but it is a commonly used term in this reference. For instance, each guest should receive their return gift for sure

The word ‘their’ means of or belonging to someone, such as their clothes, their issue, their relationship etc. Sometimes, it may also indicate people in general, not actually talking about a particular person or group, such as in many rural cities, women still give birth to their children at home itself.

Use of They’re

Now that you understand the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’, you sometimes come across one more word that has the same pronunciation, which is ‘they’re’. ‘They’re’ is a contracted form of ‘they are’. For instance, instead of ‘they are celebrating’, you can say ‘they’re celebrating’. Most often, it is used before a verb ending with an ‘ing’, such as they’re singing or they’re studying. It can also be used before an adjective, such as they’re crazy, they’re angry etc.

Conclusion

Both their and there are homophones, which means ‘same sound’. Although both of them sound same, they have different meanings and spellings. While writing in English language, you need to pay close attention to which spelling you are using and what reference you are making. Now that you know the rules of using both the words, you should not have any problem doing that. Apart from that, ‘they’re’ is another that sounds similar too, but it is a contraction of ‘they are’, and should not be mixed with ‘their’ or ‘there’.

You can check out other common grammatical doubts such as the difference between affected and effected or the difference between few and little!

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