Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Their, There and They're

In no way shape or form is it acceptable to use the words their, there and they're incorrectly. I can't tell you how many times a day I receive an email from a coworker, see a Facebook status update from a BUSINESS or read a text message from an adult with a college education using these words incorrectly. Do they have any idea how stupid this makes them look? Are they not proofreading, or do you think they really don't know how to use their, there and they're correctly?

I do a lot of hiring and firing for the company I work for and I would NEVER hire someone who improperly used these words. For the record, I catch this mistake every single time I see it, and I bet I am not the only one. Grammar is incredibly important in the workplace. You are representing your company everyday, and your grammar reflects not only you, but your entire company.

You may not have thought anyone was paying attention, but they are. Here is how to use their, there and they're correctly, in the event you don't know how...

There- use there when referring to a place, whether it be concrete or abstract. There is also used with the verb, to be (have, has, had, be, am, is... etc.) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.

EXAMPLES: "I am headed there now" or "There must be some sort of explanation why she used their when referring to the building over there" or "With grammar like that, there is just no place for you in my company."

Their-  use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them. 

EXAMPLE: "That is their problem they can't figure out how to use proper grammar, not mine." or "Due to poor grammar, Seth and Julie were relieved of their duties with the company." 

They're-  is a contraction of the words they and are. It is not used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself). Best bet here is to read the sentence back to yourself, and if you can properly replace they're with the words they are, you have used it correctly. 

EXAMPLE: "They're (or THEY ARE) closing the mall at six tonight" or "I'm so glad that they're (or THEY ARE) going to let go of Stacey, she can't figure out grammar to save her life. Bless her heart." 

My work here is done. I better not see anymore incorrect uses of their, there and they're or I will flip the F out on you.


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