Theirs vs. Their’s: Simplifying Possessive Pronouns

Understanding the proper use of “theirs” versus “their’s” is essential for clear written communication in English. While they may sound similar, only one of these forms is correct. “Theirs” is a possessive pronoun that indicates ownership and does not require an apostrophe. It stands alone, without a following noun, and signifies that the thing being referred to belongs to a group of people or someone whose gender is not specified.

The Main Difference between Theirs vs. Their’s

Theirs vs. Their's: Simplifying Possessive Pronouns

Theirs vs. Their’s: Key Takeaways

  • “Theirs” is the correct possessive pronoun and does not use an apostrophe.
  • “Their’s” with an apostrophe is not a correct word in English.
  • To avoid errors, remember that possessive pronouns never use apostrophes.

Theirs vs. Their’s: The Definition

What Does Theirs Mean?

Theirs is a possessive pronoun that indicates something belonging to them. It’s used when the ownership is already known, and no additional noun follows it. For example, we might say, “This book is theirs.” This means that the book belongs to them, and no noun is needed after “theirs” because it stands on its own.

What Does Their’s Mean?

Contrary to what some might believe, their’s is not a word in the English language. The confusion usually stems from the misconception that possessive nouns require an apostrophe and an “s” at the end. However, possessive pronouns like “theirs” do not follow this rule and should never include an apostrophe. Therefore, the correct form is always “theirs,” regardless of the context.

Theirs vs. Their’s: Usage and Examples

When we talk about possession in English, it’s important to use the correct form to convey ownership. “Theirs” is the correct third-person plural possessive pronoun. It indicates that something belongs to them or is associated with them. We use “theirs” when we don’t need to repeat the noun, because the owned item is already clear from the context.

Here is how we use “theirs”:

  • Whose books are these? They are theirs.
  • This opinion isn’t ours; it’s theirs.

On the other hand, “their’s” is a common mistake. The correct form does not include an apostrophe, as possessive pronouns in English do not require them. So, we should never write “their’s” when we mean to indicate possession.

Here’s a simple table to illustrate the difference:

Incorrect Correct Example Usage
their’s theirs This is theirs.

Theirs vs. Their’s: Examples

Example 1:

  • Correct: The blue car is theirs; they’ve had it for years.
  • Incorrect: The blue car is their’s; they’ve had it for years.

Example 2:

  • Correct: The responsibility for the project is theirs alone.
  • Incorrect: The responsibility for the project is their’s alone.

Example 3:

  • Correct: They need to decide what to do with their time since it’s theirs to use as they please.
  • Incorrect: They need to decide what to do with their time since it’s their’s to use as they please.

Example 4:

  • Correct: That corner office is theirs, as they earned the promotion last month.
  • Incorrect: That corner office is their’s, as they earned the promotion last month.

Related Confused Words with Theirs or Their’s

Theirs vs. There’s

Theirs: A possessive pronoun referring to something owned by them.

  • Correct usage: “The car is theirs.”
  • No apostrophe is used as it indicates possession.

There’s: A contraction of “there is” or “there has.”

  • Correct usage: “There’s a book on the table.”
  • Includes an apostrophe to signify the omission of letters.

Theirs vs. There

Theirs: Again, indicates possession and belongs to them.

  • Example: “Is this book theirs?”

There: An adverb that denotes a place or position.

  • Example: “The book is over there.”
  • Not possessive, therefore no apostrophe.

Theirs vs. They’re

Theirs: Denotes ownership without an apostrophe.

  • Use it to indicate something belonging to a group, like “Theirs was the winning team.”

They’re: A contraction of “they are.”

  • Contains an apostrophe to show the combination of words, as in “They’re going to the game.”
  • Not used to indicate possession.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of the word ‘theirs’?

‘Theirs’ is a possessive pronoun that indicates ownership and can replace ‘their’ plus a noun to avoid repetition. It refers to belonging or association with the people or entities previously mentioned or understood from the context.

How can you use ‘their’ and ‘theirs’ correctly in a sentence?

Use ‘their’ to modify a noun, showing possession. Example: “Their house is beautiful.” ‘Theirs’ replaces the noun and stands alone, for instance, “The beautiful house is theirs.”

Can you give some examples of sentences using ‘their’ and ‘theirs’?

Certainly! For ‘their’: “They brought their children to the park.” For ‘theirs’: “The smallest puppy was theirs.”

What is the correct pronunciation of ‘theirs’?

‘Theirs’ is pronounced /ðɛrz/, which rhymes with “airs” or “bears.”

Is there ever a correct time to use an apostrophe with ‘theirs’?

No, ‘theirs’ never takes an apostrophe. The mistaken form ‘their’s’ is a common error and should be avoided.

What are some synonyms for ‘theirs’?

Synonyms for ‘theirs’ include possessive phrases like ‘belonging to them’, ‘of theirs’, or ‘belonging to those people,’ depending on the context.

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