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there, their or they’re?

With one exception*, my writing articles and blog entries assume some basic knowledge – if you are writing for business purposes, I assume you know the obvious rules of capital letters to start sentences, common spelling rules and the idea of paragraphs.

So I have never written about there/their/they’re – until now!

I have seen these words misused a number of times recently, and getting an email today from someone who calls herself a writer with the sentence “Their are some great news items ” was the last straw for me! (How can they own ‘are some great news’?)

If this is obvious to you, I apologise! If it isn’t, I hope this helps and I apologise for not helping you sooner!

There, they’re or their?

All 3 words sound exactly the same, but have totally different meanings and uses. Using the wrong word can make a sentence very confusing or just make the writer look silly – neither is what you want in your business (or other!) writing.

They’re is short for they are – so it is used as “They’re running late today”

There is not here – so it is used as “We will go there tomorrow”

Their shows they own something – it is used as “John and Betty will bring their car, too”

Imagine the following sentence with the wrong there/they’re/their spellings…

“They’re bringing their own car so we will meet them there.”

Use your words wisely!

* the exception is this article on basic grammar rules which I wrote to help a trainer with a communications module he was teaching.

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