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they're, their, there

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips

Note: We thoroughly discuss the differences among these words in the Common Grammatical Mistakes section of Grammar.com. Click here for the beginning of that discussion.

They’re is a contraction of the words “they are.” In formal writing, it is perfectly acceptable to use contractions.

Their is a possessive pronoun to denote something that belongs to “them.”

There is used to help specify a location.

Further, the word there is used with expressions like there is or there are. When you use there is, the following noun must be singular. But if that noun is plural, you must use there are. The misuse of the expression there’s ranks as the most prevalent grammatical mistake in America. You’ll find a complete discussion in the Common Grammatical Mistakes Section of Grammar.com. Click here for the beginning of that discussion.

Example: They’re not taking their best clothes over there.

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