In the English language, word mix-ups are a regular thing, and “their” and “there” are prime examples. These two words sound alike but have entirely different meanings and functions. “Their” is a possessive pronoun used to indicate ownership or belonging, while “there” can be an adverb indicating location or a pronoun introducing a subject. Understanding the distinction between these two words is crucial for clear and effective communication. This article aims to demystify the difference between “their” and “there,” providing guidelines, examples, and tips to help you use them correctly in your writing. By grasping this fundamental aspect of English grammar, you can avoid common mistakes and express your ideas more precisely.

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Understanding “Their”

The word “their” is a possessive pronoun, which means it’s used to show that something belongs to a group of people or things. It’s a handy word for talking about ownership without having to name the owners every time.

For example, consider the sentence:

“The students finished their homework.”

Here, “their” tells us that the homework belongs to the students. It’s a simple way to show possession.

Here are a few more examples to help you understand how to use “their” correctly:

“The cats are playing with their toys.” (The toys belong to the cats.)
“My friends have lost their way.” (The way is lost by my friends.)
“The teachers shared their ideas with the class.” (The ideas belong to the teachers.)

A tip for remembering when to use “their” is to ask yourself if you’re talking about something that belongs to a group of people or things.

Their vs There

Understanding “There”

The word “there” has a couple of different roles in English. As an adverb, it’s used to indicate a location. As a pronoun, it’s often used to introduce the subject of a sentence.

When “there” is used to talk about a place, it’s pretty straightforward. For example, in the sentence:

“My book is over there on the table.”

“There” tells us where the book is located.

As a pronoun, “there” can be a bit trickier. It’s used to start sentences where the subject comes after the verb, like in “There are three cookies left in the jar.” Here, “there” introduces the fact that cookies exist in the jar.

Here are a few more examples to help you understand how to use “there” correctly:

“Is there a park near your house?” (Asking about the existence of a park.)
There were many people at the concert.” (Indicating the presence of people.)
“Put the vase over there.” (Pointing out a location.)

A tip for remembering when to use “there” is to think about whether you’re talking about a location or introducing something in your sentence. If you are, then “there” is likely the word you need.

Their vs There

Common Mistakes When Using “There vs Their”

One common mistake people make when using “their” and “there” is confusing the two because they sound similar. However, they have very different meanings and uses.

Mistake NameMistake DescriptionExample Sentence
😵‍💫 Confusing “their” and “there”Using “their” when referring to locationIncorrect: “Their is a book on the table.”
Correct: “There is a book on the table.”
🤲 Using “there” for ownershipUsing “there” when indicating possessionIncorrect: “I like there new house.”
Correct: “I like their new house.”
😬 Misconception about “their” usageThinking “their” can only refer to people“The company changed their logo.”
“The dogs wagged their tails.”

To avoid these mistakes, remember that “their” is for showing possession or belonging, and “there” is for talking about location or existence. If you’re unsure which to use, try substituting “our” for “their” and “here” for “there” to see which makes sense in your sentence.

Exercises on “There vs Their”

Let’s dive into two short exercises to support your progress so far! You can find the answers below.

Exercise 1: Fill in the Blanks

Choose the correct word (their or there) to complete each sentence:

  1. ________ house is just around the corner.
  2. Is ________ a reason for your decision?
  3. The students presented ________ projects yesterday.
  4. ________ are many ways to solve this problem.
  5. I can’t find my keys; I think I left them over ________.


  1. Their
  2. There
  3. Their
  4. There
  5. There

Exercise 2: Correct the Sentences

Correct the following sentences if necessary:

  1. Their is a beautiful garden in the park.
  2. The cats are playing with there toys.
  3. I believe there is a solution to every problem.
  4. The children put on their coats before going outside.
  5. Look over there! Someone left their bag on the bench.


  1. There is a beautiful garden in the park.
  2. The cats are playing with their toys.
  3. (No correction needed)
  4. (No correction needed)
  5. (No correction needed)


The difference between “their” and “there” is an essential aspect of English grammar that, once mastered, can significantly improve the clarity of your writing. Remember, “their” indicates possession or belonging, while “there” refers to a location or introduces a subject. By paying attention to the context in which you use these words and practicing regularly, you can confidently navigate this common linguistic pitfall. Keep in mind the examples and tips provided in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to using “their” and “there” accurately in your everyday communication.


What is the difference between “there” and “their”?

“There” is an adverb used to indicate location or existence, while “their” is a possessive pronoun used to show ownership or belonging by a group of people or things. They have different meanings and functions in a sentence.

How do you use “there” in a sentence?

You use “there” to refer to a place or to introduce the existence of something. For example, “There is a park nearby,” or “Look over there!”

How do you use “their” in a sentence?

You use “their” to indicate that something belongs to a group of people or things. For example, “Their house is on the corner,” or “The students finished their homework.”

Can “there” and “their” be used interchangeably?

No, “there” and “their” cannot be used interchangeably. They have distinct meanings and uses. “There” refers to a location or existence, while “their” shows possession or belonging. Using them incorrectly can lead to confusion and misunderstandings in communication.

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