Their vs. there – which form is correct?

Their or there? Which one is correct? These two words are used so often that they are frequently misused in writing even by native speakers. If you do not want to make one of the most common errors in English anymore, read this article.

their vs. there? their or there Which form is correct meaning definition difference examples

Their vs. there – which one is correct?

Both their and there are correct spellings, but of two different words. There are more differences than similarities between them as the only thing they have in common is the same pronunciation. Read the following section for more details.

Their vs. there – what is the difference?

The reason their and there are so commonly confused is that they are a classic example of homophones, which means that they are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings. If you study the definitions of each of these words that are presented in the following sections of this article, you will be able to recognize which spelling is correct from the context.

Their – the meaning

Their is the possessive case of the personal pronoun they and means “belonging to or possessed by them”. It is generally plural, but it has come to be used in the place of the singular possessive pronouns his and her, when the gender of the owner is unknown or when referring to people in a mixed group or crowd.

There – the meaning

The issue with there is much more complicated, as it has multiple functions: it can be used as an adverb, pronoun, noun, adjective or interjection.

As an adverb there means in or at that place.

My friend will be there soon.

There can also be a pronoun that introduces the subject of a sentence or clause.

There are two clients waiting for you in the conference room.

There is also used as a noun referring to a state or condition.

You take it from there.

As an adjective, there provides emphasis.

This guy there can tell you the direction.

Finally, there is used as an interjection expressing a variety of feelings and emotions, that range from satisfaction, relief and approval to encouragement and consolation.

There! You won!

Their vs. there – examples from the literature and press

We are not yet certain how many planetary systems there are, but there seem to be a great abundance.

Carl Sagan, Cosmos

In Poland, a funeral was held Saturday for one of the two men who died when a missile landed there this week, according to the state news agency PAP.

“Washington Post”, Nov 19, 2022

When citizens or businesses receives a government cheque, they deposit it at their commercial bank, which presents it to the Fed.

“Reuters” Feb 22, 2021

Written by

After graduating with a MA in English Philology, Kasia lived for almost five years in the UK facing the challenge of trying to master the intricacies of English language, which is her consuming passion. Other things she enjoys doing in her spare time are singing in a local parish band, embroidery, reading, cycling, and enjoying the outdoors with her family and friends.