Hat-trick of confusion: There vs. their vs. they’re

If this set of spelling errors could be placed anywhere, it ought to be in other people’s trash cans. Yet some writers continue to wrongly use the terms while acting as if they are correct.

There refers to place: He’s going to Los Angeles. While there, he will meet with studio executives.

Their means that more than one person owns something: Jake and Emily went to Chicago. Their itinerary includes visiting the Sears Tower.

They’re is a contraction of “they are”: Jake and Emily like to travel. They’re going to New York City for New Year’s Eve.

The phrase there are never should be written as the contraction they’re.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.