Wednesday, April 12, 2017

There, their....and they're

There, their, and they're are three different words, pronounced the same but spelled different.  They are homonyms.  So, where to use which?

Since I'm good with helping others with word associations I have been asked to please share.

There:  notice that the word here is in there.  So, it's not here, but there.

Their:  notice that the word heir is in their.  So, they (each being an heir)  inherited the house and it is now their house.

They're:  notice the apostrophe.  This means that a letter---or letters--has been omitted.  In this case the letter a.  In full it would be they are.

Other words with apostrophes are jack-o'-lantern, o'clock, O'Leary, ma'am, etc. which indicate that a letter--or letters--has been omitted.

Thus, there:  not here, but there.
         their: each an heir so their house.
         they're:  omitted letter, a in this case.  Also, if the other two don't fit, it must be this one.  :)

Then there is it's and its.

It's has an apostrophe, so an omitted letter, in this case i (it is) or ha (it has).  

It's raining = it is raining.  It's rained = it has rained.

Its is a rare possessive as it doesn't have an apostrophe like Jim's books, boys' bats, or deer's tail.

If a letter has been left out, (it's), then use this word. If showing possession, then use its.