In the previous two quizzes we were told about homophones. Homophones are words with different spellings and meanings but the same pronunciation. Examples of homophones are PEAL/PEEL, WHINE/WINE and FLOUR/FLOWER. You will notice that all these words have the same pronunciation but different spellings and different meanings.
When homophones are used in written communication it is quite easy to differentiate and take out the correct meaning. However, when homophones are used in spoken English we may get confused if we do not listen to the words carefully and notice the context in which they are used.
In the previous quiz we looked at a pair of words, ITS and IT’S, that are homophones. We now look at three more homophones which are often confused - THEIR, THERE and THEY’RE. We come across these words quite often in both written and oral communication.
THEIR is a possessive pronoun describing a noun which belongs to 'them.' For instance, in the sentence ‘THEIR house is bigger than ours’ the word THEIR is used as a possessive pronoun indicating possession and describes somebody’s house.
THERE is an adverb that points to a location in space or time. For example, ‘The dog is over THERE’ or ‘THERE once was a man’ are sentences where THERE is used to point out a location in the first example and to indicate a time in the second.
THEY’RE is actually two words - THEY and ARE, contracted to form THEY’RE. THEY’RE is similar to IT’S that we studied in the previous quiz. For instance, ‘THEY’RE coming with us to the new movie’ is a sentence where THEY’RE is used to describe someone. THEY is a plural pronoun and ARE is a verb. So, in reality THEY’RE is actually two words.
THEIR is a possessive pronoun describing a noun which belongs to 'them'.
THERE is an adverb that points to a location in space or time.
THEY’RE is actually two words - THEY and ARE, contracted to form THEY’RE.
If you remember these facts then the quiz that follows will be a cake walk for you and you will be well on your way to understanding homophones!