If you’re confused about whether to write thier or their, you’re not alone. Many words in the English language are tricky to spell, including this one.
So which spelling are you supposed to use?
The correct spelling is their, with the E before the I.
Read on to learn more about what their means and how to use this word correctly.
Their Definition and Meaning
The word their is a possessive pronoun that indicates that something belongs to a group of people (they). It’s a plural equivalent to his, her, and its, which are singular possessive pronouns.
When you’re talking about something that belongs to a single person, you would use a singular possessive pronoun:
- She loves her new house.
When you’re talking about something that belongs to two or more people, you would use the plural possessive pronoun:
- They love their new house.
How Do You Spell Their?
Thier doesn’t mean anything—it isn’t a real English word. The correct spelling is always their with an E-I, not with an I-E.
If you’re not sure you’re spelling their correctly, you can always run your work through ProWritingAid. It’s free to download and will help you fix incorrect spellings with a single click!
Examples of How to Spell Their
The best way to remember how to use a word is to see it in action. Here are some examples of their in sentences from popular English books.
“They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences.”—Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
“People defended all manner of views inherited from their caregivers to the grave, all the while claiming to have reached these conclusions of their own sound minds.”—Rivers Solomon, Sorrowland
“Naked trees shivered in the cold, clung to their blackened, dying leaves as if to let go would mean defeat.”—Kristin Hannah, Firefly Lane
“He sometimes gets the feeling that Donna has methodically erased all their good times from her memory, so that she can move on into her shiny new life without ripping herself up.”—Tana French, The Searcher
“The nine other students pack up their things and leave the classroom to carry on with their lives, to practices and rehearsals and club meetings.”—Kate Elizabeth Russell, My Dark Vanessa
“It was years before I realized that kites were only puppetry and could only fake their flight. Real flight involved no leashes or strings.”—K-Ming Chang, Bestiary
Tips for Spelling Their, Not Thier
In school, you might have been taught the rhyme “I before E except after C.” The problem with this rhyme is that there are a lot of exceptions to this rule, so relying on this rhyme will often lead you astray.
It’s better to learn the correct spelling of each word individually to make sure you don’t mix them up. One useful trick for remembering how to spell their is to start with the word they, and then remove the Y and replace it with an IR. That way, you know the E goes first, since it’s already part of the word they.
Don’t let incorrect spellings derail your writing. Use ProWritingAid’s free grammar checker to find any mispellings in your work.