Its versus It’s and Their, There, They’re

Here’s a little grammar lesson for the day:

Okkkkkkkkkkkkkk. So. Let’s talk about these little guys. Put simply:

Its – no apostrophe – shows possession

It’s – with apostrophe – is a contraction of it is or it has

 A contraction literally means to make smaller, therefore the apostrophe is replacing letters. This also applies to they’re:

They’re = they are

Their = shows possession (consider the “I” is a pronoun and only a person can own something)

There = defining a location.

Let’s (let’s is a contraction of “let us,” see what I’ve done here) delve deeper:

Its vs. It’s

Rule 1: When you mean it is or it has, use an apostrophe

It’s a beautiful day.
It’s got to get warmer outside.
It’s so nice to meet you.

Rule 2: When you are using its as a possessive, don’t use the apostrophe.

The dog is eating its bone.
The jewelry store celebrated its ninth anniversary.

Note: Apparently the possessive was also written it’s until modern times, quite possibly dropping the apostrophe in order to parallel possessive personal pronouns like hers, theirs, yours, ours, etc.”

Their, There, They’re


Use “their” to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.

  • My friends have lost their tickets.
  • Their things were thrown around the apartment.


Use there when referring to a location or place, whether concrete (“over there by the building”) or more abstract (“it must be difficult to live there”).

Also use there with the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.

  •     There is an antique store on Madison Avenue.
  •     There are many documents that are used in investigations.


Remember that they’re is a contraction of they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself).

They’re always late to meetings.

They’re going to Dishes for lunch.

They’re going to the baseball game over there to celebrate their birthdays…. Whew

Lastly, the best way to remember these things is to do some swapping.

If you wrote there, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with here? If so, you’re using it correctly.

If you chose their, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with our? If so, you’ve chosen the correct word.

If you used they’re, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with they are? If so, correctomundo


Happy Weekend!


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