Sometimes, spelling mistakes occur when a student uses homophones incorrectly in a sentence. Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but different spelling and meaning. Examples of homophones include words such as there, they’re, and their, or see and sea. Due to their similar sounds, it can be tricky for students to choose the correct homophone to use in a sentence.
Incorrect: Their having lunch at the restaurant again.
Correct: They’re having lunch at the restaurant again.
The use of their in the example above is incorrect, as their is a personal possessive pronoun. This means that their is always used to describe a noun in order to indicate ownership; examples include “their cat” or “their house.”
However, they’re is a contraction of they are. When unsure of when to use they’re, students can replace they’re with the words they are in order to check if this works grammatically in their sentence. In the context of the example above, “They are having lunch at the restaurant again” is grammatically correct.