Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tess' Tips to Use Who's or Whose and Their, There, or They're Correctly

The words who's or whose and their, there, or they’re are frequently confused and used incorrectly. 

Here are some simple tips to help you use these words correctly.

Their means it belongs to them.
Example: I listen to their music.

There indicates a location. (Replace it with the similar word “where” to help you remember its meaning.)
Example: I am going there after school.

They’re is a contraction for the words they are.
(Read a contraction as two words.)
Example: They’re (They are) my parents.

Whose means it belongs to whom. 
Example: Whose coat is this?

Who’s is a contraction for the words who is. (Read a contraction as two words.)
Example: Who’s (Who is) coming with me tonight?

After you finish writing, search for the words above to be sure you have chosen correctly. 

Ask yourself these questions:
Do you mean “where?”  If so, choose “there.”
Do you mean “it belongs to them?” If so, choose “their.”
Do you mean “they are?” If so, choose “they're.”

Do you mean “who is?” If so, choose “who’s.”
Do you mean it belongs to whom? If so, choose “whose.”

The following sentences are correct:
Whose photos are posted there on the bulletin board? Who's going to write their names on the backs of the photos? They're going to be left of of the yearbook if we don't figure this out.

Click here to see an interactive computer lesson that students will enjoy using to learn the correct use of homonyms. It's only $3 and requires minimal teacher involvement.

Computer Quiz on Homonyms

I'll be back next Thursday with another of Tess' Tips on Writing and Grammar.

         All the best,