their, there, they're

The words their, there, they're sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do their, there, they're sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: their, there, they're are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Used as a modifier before a noun: their accomplishments; their home town.

  2. :: adjective

    Usage Problem His, her, or its: "It is fatal for anyone who writes to think of their sex” ( Virginia Woolf). See Usage Notes at he1, they.

  1. :: adverb

    At or in that place: sit over there.

  2. :: adverb

    To, into, or toward that place: wouldn't go there again.

  3. :: adverb

    At that stage, moment, or point: Stop there before you make any more mistakes.

  4. :: adverb

    In that matter: I can't agree with him there.

  1. ::

    Contraction of they are.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").