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A quick and easy test: the difference between "they're", "their", and "there"

Hi there (and not "their", nor "they're")!

Some students get confused when using the homophones "they're", "their", and "there".
Here's a quick, easy and fun "test" I've done many times to find out whether they really know the difference or not.

I simply dictate the following mini-dialogue:

- Where are your friends?
- They're talking to their parents right over there.

The words are contextualized and their meanings should be clear for students.
If they get everything right, they're good to go. If not, some reviewing might be necessary.

Bear in mind that this "test" should only be done to check previous knowledge and not to introduce the homophones to students as that could confuse them.

Here's a variation to the mini-dialogue:

- Have you seen Jake and Kate?
- Yes, can't you see them? They're there (pointing in a direction) walking their dogs.

Students find the proximity of equally-sounded words funny and they don't notice you're testing them.

If you happen to be reading this post because you'd like to know the difference in meaning between the homophones, here's the explanation:

  • They're - this is the contraction of "they" and "are".
they + are = they're
  • Their - this is a possessive pronoun. It's related to "they" as "my" is related to "I"
I love my cat.
They love their cat.
  • There - this is an adverb of place as opposed to "here".

And there you have my blog post of the day!

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Thanks for reading!



  1. Hi, I thought that this new teacher-seller website might interest you. They are based in Canada and offer features that are not found on similar sites. They also have a lot of new features coming. Here is a link: Created by Teachers, Exclusively for Teachers

  2. Hi Lucy,
    Thank you so much for your advice on my pinning question. I really like your blog. The topics are very useful. I can see teachers taking them into their classroom the very next day to give them a try. I pinned this idea to my collaborative board on Pinterest.

    Crockett's Classroom, Forever in Third Grade

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I appreciate your kind words!
      Thank you for stopping by (and for pinning!)