Proper language in both writing and verbal has become crucial nowadays because our language skills are what make up our image next to our appearance and body language.
In such regards, one of the most commonly used words in both our writing and verbal responses are there and their.
Though both appear to be similar, they have profound differences in real. This property of these two words with similar pronunciation and different meanings is what we call “Homophones”.
Homophones are confusing to hear, but it is one of the essential vocabulary portions one needs to understand to use the English language more elegantly.
- “There” is an adverb indicating a specific location or position and a pronoun introducing a subject or noun in a sentence.
- “Their” is a possessive pronoun used to indicate that something belongs to or is associated with a group of people previously mentioned or implied.
- The primary difference between “there” and “their” is their grammatical function, with “there” denoting a location or introducing a subject, while “their” signifies possession or association with a group.
There vs Their
“Their” is the possessive pronoun, which means belonging to them. She, for instance, envy their pricey shoes. It is also used as a replacement for his or her. While “there”, when used as an adjective, denotes that location (in or to). For instance, it’s very cold there, therefore I don’t want to go.
|Parameter of Comparison||There||Their|
|Grammatical nomenclature||Adverb or Adjective||Possessive pronoun|
|Grammar number||Mostly singular||Mostly plural except when the subject’s identity or gender is unknown.|
|Grammatical usage||It used to point to a place that is already known.||Used to indicate the ownership of an object by a subject.|
|Pronoun usage||Used to introduce clause or sentence||Used to introduce a subject who owns the object.|
|Examples||My friend will be there soon.||It is their dog.|
What is the Meaning of There?
“There”, is an adverb with a meaning pointing towards a place. In some instances, it can also be used as a pronoun for introducing a clause or sentence.
It is most of the time used primly to stop the unnecessary repetitions of the mentioned noun.
“There”, when used as a pronoun, is a little bit hard to understand.“There” is often used to quickly start a sentence and define an already existing or happened thing.
Informal speech patterns can also employ “There” as an essential part of their structure for conveying the meaning of the sentence for which it is used.
Some examples of usage of “There” are,
- I love Spain. I go there (to Spain) every year.
In the above example, here, the word “there” is used to indicate Spain when the preceding sentence, which is used, already defines the nature of Spain. This usage aids in preventing an unnecessary repetition of a name in sentences that will otherwise be annoying.
- Don’t go down there, John. (It is assumed that John knows where there is).
For this example, the word “their’” is used to imply a place to a subject, which the person already knows. This type of usage will be helpful, especially when the place of interest in the scene cannot be named easily but can be pointed to convey the meaning.
- Jack paused there to let him reply. (referring to a moment in time in the scene)
To convey the meaning that Jack stopped talking at a pointed instance time during a conversation to someone for the other person to reply. “There” can also be used like this to point to a time.
- There is no way for a setback. (replacing a noun)
“There” is used as replacing noun to start a sentence or to introduce a clause. This makes the expressed meaning easy to understand
What is the Meaning of Their?
“Their” is a possessive pronoun of the subject. It is most often used to indicate the ownership or claim of a person over a subject.
It means when there is a need to explain the ownership of an object to more than one person, it is wise to use “their” in the sentence, which will make the sentence look simple and easily understandable.
In most instances, “their” is used to indicate the ownership of a plural subject, but with some exceptions, especially when the subject’s identity or gender is a mystery.
Some examples of usage of “Their” are,
- They left their wallet at home.
In this example, “their” is used to claim the ownership of the wallet to the persons on the scene that left it at home. The persons implied here are plural, as shown by the noun(they).
- Someone left their backpack on the table.
Here, the usage of “their” is made so that the ownership of the object on the table is unknown, but to point to the object and express the ownership of the object, the word “their” is used.
- Someone parked their bicycle in a towing zone.
Someone parked his or her bicycle in a towing zone.
Consider the above two-sentence; if the person’s gender is unknown, we can use both of the above-mentioned sentences. But using “their” makes the sentence sounds more pleasant than his or her and is easy to use in verbal and written language.
Main Differences Between There and Their
- ”There” is an adjective or adverb, noun, pronoun, adjective, or interjection in grammar. “Their” is a possessive pronoun.
- “There” can be used to indicate a place, time, matter, or point in a process. “Their” can be used to imply the ownership of an object by a person.
- “There” is used to indicate a singular noun. “Their” is used to point to the plural noun almost always, except when the gender and identity of the owner are unknown.
- “There” is used to indicate the things which are already described and to prevent the unnecessary repetition of the names of the subject. “Their” is used to indicate the ownership of an object which may or may not be already described in the conversation.
- “There” can sometimes be used in place of a noun. “Their” will always be used before a noun and not be used without another noun.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.