Why is it so hard for people to use these words correctly?
My short answer to that question is a simple matter of time and attention. We all had to learn this is grade school. However, in a rush, we might not have time to stop and try to remember the differences between these. We just keep typing and move on with life. On social media, there is a general tendency toward sloppiness, I think. “No one will notice,” or “None of my teachers are my Facebook friends, and it isn’t for a grade.” People just don’t proofread on Facebook that often.
Well, guess what? People do notice. It’s really important, if you want to lend credibility to anything you are writing, to use the proper word. And these words are not interchangeable. They each have very different meanings. Here’s a brief guide with some helpful facts that may assist you in remembering which one to use.
“There” is a place. “I walked over there to find them.” And it has the word “here” contained in it, which is also a place.
“Their” is possessive. “Their dog was barking all night long.” It contains the letter “I” which can remind you that the word is possessive.
“They’re” is a contraction for “they are.” “They’re coming over with a bottle of wine.” This one seems to be less confusing than the other two, but the best way to remember its meaning is by recognizing the apostrophe as a sign of the contraction. The apostrophe means that two words were pushed together to become one, and that a letter was left out. Hence, “they are” became “they’re.”
Particularly if you are posting on social media for your business, it’s important to use the correct word. Not only will you be sure to convey the correct meaning of your message, but those who do know the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re” will be more likely to do business with you!