29 Sep 2016

You’re Sure You Want to Go There?

In the English language, ‘there, their’ and ‘they’re’, cause the some of the most baffled expressions on the faces of some of our students.

Throw in ‘we’re’, ‘were’, ‘your, you’re, who’s’, ‘whose,’ ‘it’s’ and ‘its’ & we have enough to confuse even the bravest.

Getting to grips with quirks of the language can seem overwhelming at first, but the secret is to practice, read and write.

Pretty soon, all these confusions will disappear, their use will become second nature, whether you are (the shortened form of which is ‘you’re’) speaking to a friend, writing a piece of homework or a business letter.

Some native English speakers struggle with when to use some of these words, mainly because of course, when spoken, they sound alike, but obviously have different meanings, and change the way things can be interpreted.

So, here’s a quick list of the most common uses of some of the above. Hopefully, they will help you along your journey:

• YOU’RE – you are – “you’re the one”
• YOUR – shows ownership – “this is your membership card”
• WERE – past tense of are – “you were late for tea”
• WE’RE – shortened form of ‘we are’ – “we’re late for tea”
• IT’S – shortened form of ‘it is’ – “it’s time for dinner”
• ITS – similar to your, this again shows ownership or possession – “the cat kept its toy on its bed”
• THERE – shows a place – “the toilet is over there on the left”
• THEIR – another form of ownership or possession – “It’s their party”
• THEY’RE – contracted form of ‘they are’ – ‘they’re ready for their English exam’
• WHO’S – is a shortened form of either ‘who is’ OR sometimes ‘who was’ – “who’s the owner of the car?’ OR ‘who’s in the kitchen?’

Hopefully some of the examples will have shown you how both a lot of these word forms can be used together to create differences in context, and, how incorrect use can radically alter the meaning of what you are (you’re) trying to say.

By no means exhaustive, and of course, there will be other puzzles along the way, as you learn, but with a little thought about what you want to say before you say it (especially in written form), you’ll soon become confident.

At Sounds English, we like to think we make learning to speak, read and write the language easy. We do this by providing web-based lessons, that you can access anywhere, anytime you have access to the Internet.

Each of the lessons is produced exclusively for Sounds English in our own studio, using professional writers and actors, so you can be sure you’re getting the best learning experience possible.

Why not become a member today? 14-day free trial

Chris Ryu


  1. it is fine

  2. precious Says: April 7, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I like learning, cos that is I know English is a borrow language but it is the world language, I love it

  3. Tashi wangchuk Says: April 21, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Like to learn English.

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