There, their, they're. Prove you can choose the right one.

Susan McDonald

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About This Quiz

English is a complicated language and those who are native speakers often feel lucky that we didn't have to learn it as a second language. There, their, and they're sound alike, but have very different meanings. Do you know which is correct?

Please put your clean laundry over _______.

There is the correct answer. It is not possessive, like their, or a contraction, like they're.

_______ arriving on the 5:30 flight.

They're is the correct response, because it is short for they are.

_______ is no easy way to say this.

In this case, there is used as a pronoun to introduce a sentence in which the verb comes before the subject and has no complement.

How did you like _______ new house?

Their is correct in this example, because it refers to a house that is owned by someone.

All students should now be in _______ caps and gowns.

Their is always the correct choice when possession is involved.

_______ is no time to lose.

If it's not possessive and not an abbreviation for they are, it has to be there.

_______ moving to Pittsburgh next month.

When referring to more than one person doing something, the contraction they're is correct.

He stopped his speech _______ because he needed a drink of water.

In this case, there is used as an adverb to mark a certain place or time.

Will you find out if _______ going to be late?

If you're in doubt, use they are instead of they're and see if it makes sense.

_______ boat cost a small fortune.

This refers to a boat that is possessed by more than one person, so the correct answer is their.

You really shouldn't interfere, because it's _______ choice.

This case needs a possessive pronoun, so their is the correct choice.

_______ bringing pulled pork and we're making cole slaw.

In this situation, more than one person is contributing to the pulled pork, so the contraction for they are is correct.

He said he left it somewhere over _______.

The person in question left his item at a physical location, so the correct response is there.

_______ going to a movie later.

The contraction for they are is the only correct answer.

He grew up _______ but moved away for college.

The place where someone grew up is a physical location, so there is correct.

It's _______ turn to host the pot luck dinner.

Even when you're not referring to a physical object, their is correct when possession is involved.

I don't think _______ going on vacation with us this year.

This refers to people, so the contraction for they are is appropriate.

I'll help you with the first question, but you're on your own from _______ on.

In addition to a physical space, there also refers to a state or condition.

_______ grounded for the rest of the week.

They are grounded, so the contraction they're is correct.

I don't know if _______ coming or not.

If you could use two words -- they are -- interchangeably, it's they're.

_______, this project is finally finished.

In this case, there is used as an interjection to express relief.

Been _______, done that, got the t-shirt.

There can also be used as an idiom, in this case meaning something that you've done and are bored by.

It's _______ house, so they can impose any rules they choose.

When it's possessive, it's their.

John said _______ getting married in June.

Substitute they are. If it works, it's they're.

They left _______ passports at home.

The passports belong to someone, making this possessive, so it's their.

I've heard that argument before, so don't go _______.

In this case, there refers to a place, even though it's not specifically geographic.

It's _______ decision and we shouldn't interfere.

This is possessive because the decision belongs to them, so the correct answer is their.

_______, _______, everything will turn out OK.

There can also be used as an interjection to indicate consolation.

_______ is no way I'll agree to that.

If you're not sure, ask yourself if it's possessive (their) or a contraction for they are (they're) and if not, it's there.

_______ not going to go to Aruba after all.

When it's a contraction for they are, it's they're.

Is that _______ car in the driveway?

If it's possessive, it's their.

I haven't been _______ for a few years.

When it's a physical or geographic place, such as a restaurant or city, it's there.

_______ not nearly as funny as they think they are.

When it's a contraction for they are, it's they're.

_______ it is.

This refers to a physical location, so it's there.

They really should be more careful about keeping _______ doors locked.

Any time you're dealing with a possessive -- the doors belong to someone -- it's their.

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