Today’s peeve is a tricky trio…but I have some ways to help you get it right when you use them!
There: Use this spelling when you want to indicate place, whether literal (Sit over there.) or abstract (There are a lot of books on my desk.) When trying to determine if this is the spelling you should use, imagine replacing it with closely related words here or where. If your sentence still makes sense, you’ve got it right! Also use this spelling when paired with any form of be (there are, there is, there were, there are).
They’re: This one is simple. If you could use they are in place of it in your sentence, you’ve selected the correct spelling.
They’re headed to the park.
(They are headed to the park.)
Their: Consider that this is the possessive form, meaning it indicates ownership. Also consider the word heir indicates ownership in the future. So, if you’re talking about some kind of ownership, make sure your spelling includes heir in it!
The kids love their new puppy.
So, in conclusion…
They’re going over there to pick up their concert tickets.