Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between There and Their

thereQuite some words sound to be similar like each other. One such term is ‘there’ and ‘their’. The terms ‘there’ and ‘their’ are considered to be the homonyms. This simply means that when the two words are spoken they have basically the same sounding. Other than sharing that common pronunciation the two words are considered pronouns in some uses.

‘There’ is a word that has multiple uses. The word can be used as an adverb, pronoun, noun, adjective or interjection. Each of these is quite different from the other. The word appeared some time before 900 BC though. In what may be its most common use it is a pronoun. It refers to a place or point in this use, but as a pronoun it can also precede a verb that precedes the subject. Possibly the next most common usage is when the word is used as an adverb. It can describe the verb that is used for example to inform where the verb took place. As an adjective, ‘there’ generally appears directly adjacent to the noun and implies the location of the noun. It may be used specifically for emphasis.

Some uses include:
Put the paper over there.
There is a good book.
Nothing can stop that there.

The word ‘their’ is simply a pronoun. It is a possessive pronoun though and is the possessive form of the pronoun ‘they’. It first appeared between 1150 and 1200. It is sometimes used to replace ‘his’ or ‘her’ in the event that the gender of the individual being referred to is unknown.

Some uses include:
Someone left their pencil.
That is their report.
In truth theirs was equal, in its way.

Both have pasts that are linked to the Middle English and the Olde English, but ‘there’ has multiple other references in its derivation in addition to the Middle English and Old English sources. Generally these words are pronounced the same, but some individuals may intentionally create a difference when the words are spoken.

There is more information available about the many words that sound the same, called homonyms. Reference sites can be found online by searching for ‘homonyms’. You can also learn more about these two words be using a dictionary, either in print or online. By reading the complete listing for each word you can learn the few similarities and the many differences. You might even find that you have found a wonderful new addition to your vocabulary.


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