their vs there

What is the difference?

their
definition: belonging to or associated with the people or things previously mentioned or easily identified
Examples:
  1. parents are keen to help their children
  2. her taunts had lost their power to touch him
Synonyms:
No synonyms available
there
definition: in, at, or to that place or position
Examples:
  1. we went to Paris and stayed there ten days
  2. at the end of the day we are there to make money
  3. I'm not going in there—it's freezing
Synonyms:
No synonyms available

their vs there

Want to know the difference between their and there? Well, you're in the right place. These homophones are commonly confusing. Are they adverbs? Do they function as adjectives? Read on, and we'll explain the differences and give you plenty of examples. We also have some interesting factoids along the way!

1. their

determiner

The most important thing you need to know is that their is a possessive determiner, and it's mostly used with plural nouns. However, there are some cases where you can use it with singular nouns, especially in gender-neutral language. English speakers use it as the possessive form of the third-person pronoun "they." Their relates to the possessions, actions, or belongings of something or someone.

their

Origin of their

Their has some interesting linguistic roots. In the Old Norse language from the North Germanic languages, the words "þierra," them, and "þeir," their. Around 1200 CE, English adopted their; however, in the beginning, it was sexed and was used when referring to a group of men. Their then became ungendered around the 15th century.

Examples for their

Someone has left their bag on the table.

Their pronouns are they, them, and their.

Where is their house? I don't know where their house is.

They left their laptops at home.

2. there

adverb

There is an adverb that indicates a place, a specific location, or an abstract location. Informally, you can use there to attract someone's attention, for example, hey there!

There can also be used as an exclamation to emphasize, comfort, or bring attention to something. For example, there, there, it's going to be okay!

there

Origin of there

There derives from Old English "hǣr and thēr" from the Germanic Languages. It's also important to know that the American and British English dialects differ slightly. If you stress the syllables in British English phonetically, it's like this "/ðɛə(ɹ)/, /ðɛː(ɹ)/," and in American English, like this "/ðɛɚ/, /ðɛɹ/."

Examples for there

The cafe is over there. (Location.)

There there, stop worrying. (Comfort.)

There is a great restaurant just up the street. (Indicating location.)

It's really cold in there. (Indicating location.)

Are there any malls around here? (Interrogative location.)

I need friends who are always there for me. (Abstract location.)

Takeaways - Tips

Still with us? Check out these tips.

Their

Their is the possessive form of they, and some people use their as a pronoun in gender-neutral language.

There

There is an adverb that can indicate locations, abstract locations, or bring comfort in informal language.

Reminders

If you get confused about the difference between their and there, remember that there is often used to indicate the location, and their is for possession, normally referring back to a person or thing.

FAQs

When to use their?

When to use there?

How to remember their vs. their

Commonly Confusing Words

Spell checkers don't always have you covered. Sometimes your word might be spelled correctly, but it could be the wrong word. In English, there are lots of confusing terms that look alike but are spelled differently, and many terms that mean the same thing but are easily misused.

Here are the most commonly confusing word pairings, with definitions and examples of their usage.

Check it out!