There, Their, and They’re

Three of the most common mistakes writers make are confusing there, their, and they’re,

your and you’re, and its and it’s.

There, their and they’re

There is an adverb specifying place or location.

Example: The books are over there on the table.

Their is a possessive pronoun signifying something belongs to more than one person.

Example: Mark and Eric washed their cars in the driveway.

They’re is a contraction of they are.

Example: They’re going swimming today.

Choosing between there, their and they’re:

  • Talking about a location?  Use there.
  • Talking about something that belongs to someone?  Use their.
  • Will the sentence make sense if you use “they are”?  Use they’re.

Your and you’re

Your is a possessive pronoun signifying something belongs to “you.”

Example: That’s your cat in the tree.

You’re is a contraction of you are.

Example: You’re going straight to school today!

Choosing between your and you’re:

  • Talking about something that belongs to someone?  Use your.
  • Will the sentence make sense if you use “you are”?  Use you’re.

Its and it’s

Its is a possessive pronoun signifying something belongs to “it.”

Example: The book has a tiger on its cover.

It’s is a contraction of it is.

Example: It’s sunny out today.

Choosing between its and it’s:

  • Talking about something that belongs to someone?  Use its.
  • Will the sentence make sense if you use “it is”?  Use it’s.