Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between There and Their

there
THERE AND THEIR

There and their sound the same but they do very different jobs in English grammar.

Whilst there has several functions, their only has one – it indicates possession to one or more people or a group.

So, remember that their belongs to them and does nothing else.

Whilst on the other hand, there can function in a variety of ways

THERE

There can act as a noun, a pronoun or an adverb.
It is never used to indicate possession.
It is never used in the plural form (theres)

As a NOUN, there is used to refer to that place. It identifies a location:

The house is over there next to the station
I found an old book in there
From there we can take the train
I went to school there

In phrases where it replaces a noun to avoid repetition, there still indicates the location

We need to go to station. How long will it take to get to the station?
We need to go to the station. How long will it take to get there?

I like the seaside. I will go to the seaside on Tuesday.
I like the seaside. I will go there on Tuesday

As a PRONOUN, there can be used with the verb – to be to indicate that something exists or to introduce a noun in a statement or a question

There is a book on the shelf
There are horses in the field
There was someone knocking at the door
There were flowers in the vase.
Is there any water?
Will there be time to go to the zoo?

As an ADVERB, there is used to mean the opposite of here

Shall we stay here for lunch or go over there?
Please just wait there for some help

THEIR

Their is a possessive adjective.

Their refers to possession by more than one person or a group of people and indicates that something belongs to them

Fred and Sue lost their tickets
The drummers beat their drums
The children were untidy. Their coats were on the floor
Fred and Sue are tidy. Their clothes are hanging up

Their is almost always followed by a noun but the noun itself does not have to be plural:

The team played their part
Fred and Sue missed their plane
Their hotel was very clean
Their car had broken down

So, their indicates possession by more than one person but the thing that they possess does not have to be plural

Unlike there, it is grammatically correct to add an –s to their to make the possessive pronoun, theirs

That book is yours, the other one is theirs
Theirs is the tallest sunflower
You like that one but I prefer theirs

Using there and their together to build a short text will demonstrate the use of each word in context

There is a house. (used to introduce a noun, shows that the house exists)

It stands there across the road (identifies the location)

Shall we go over there and have a look at it? (used as an adverb as an opposite to here)

The house belongs to Tom and Tina. It is their new house (possessive adjective, identifies the new house as belonging to Tom and Tina)

I prefer our house to theirs. (possessive pronoun)

There is a house. It stands there across the road. Shall we go over there and have a look at it? The house belongs to Tom and Tina. It is their new house. I prefer our house to theirs.


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