Most adults remember grammar school days distinctly for one reason or another. Many remember the games they played with classmates, others a favorite teacher. More than a few probably remember homework that they never enjoyed completing, in particular, those boring and pointless English classes where they had to learn hundreds of grammar and spelling rules, including the dreaded their/there/they’re distinction.
1. Defined as a Homonym
One of the essential things students learn in school is the correct terminology for the words they use. The examples there, their, and they’re are typically introduced in third or fourth grade as homonyms. These are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meaning. In this case, the words are different in both ways. If not learned early on, many people take these misunderstood words into the future.