You’re so Right…

Today, I’m going to lay out three common grammatical mistakes and hopefully help you make heads and tails of them: there, your, its.

  • There
  • Their
  • They’re

 What’s the difference? 

“There” is a place. Or, if you want help remembering it, “there” is a “where.”

 Example:

What’s over there? Have you been there? I’d like to go there. There is where he breathed his last.

“Their” is a plural possessive. It means a group of people own something. (It ends in an “r” just like “her” and “your” and “our,” which are also possessives.)

Example:

That’s their cat. You shouldn’t move their stuff without asking. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

“They’re” is a contraction which should always be read as “they are.” (If a sentence doesn’t work when you read it as “they are,” then you’re using the wrong form of there.)

 Example:

They’re going to be late. (They are going to be late.) They’re all hypocrites (They are all hypocrites). They’re ready (They are ready.)

  • Your
  • You’re

This is the same as with there. “Your” is a possessive and “You’re” is a contraction for “you are.” If you’re confused, read the sentence with and without the word “are.” If it works with it, you need “you’re;” if it doesn’t, you need “your.”

You never, ever have “your are” or “your’re.”

Examples:

 Your dog bit mine. You’re sure? What’s your favorite cereal? You’re not looking well.

  • Its
  • It’s

Same as before. “Its” is a possessive (like “his”) and “it’s” is a contraction which means “it is” (or it can mean “it has”). Again, if a sentence works with “is” or “has” then you need “it’s;” if not, you need “its.”

It’s on the fritz again. Have you seen its food? It’s raining. Its paw hurts. It’s worked for me.

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