Your, You're, There, Their, They're And Many Other Words Often Confused


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Here are the words that are often wrongly interchanged. Some students of English as a Second Language, popularly known as ESL, find these words confusing at times. I alphabetically arranged them, and if my explanation for each meaning is not clear to you, sorry… hahaha you can ask Google Translate to help you. ~ ~

Capital, Capitol

Capital- excellent, most serious, or most important

Do you think the capital punishment will help decrease crime rates? 

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines.

Capitol-a building in which state legislators meet

I have a meeting with the governor in his office at the Provincial Capitol.

Desert, Dessert 

Desert- a very dry wilderness, like the Sahara Desert

Many people think that there is no life in a desert, but they are wrong. There are many insects and snakes that live in a desert.

Dessert-a sweet food, such a piece of cake, served at the end of a meal

What’s for dessert? A piece of chocolate cake again?!

Hear, Here

Hear- to listen or to take notice of

You’re late for work again, and this time, I don’t want to hear your lame excuses. You’re fired.

Here- in this place

Come here. Put your books right here beside me.

Its, It's 

Its-a word that indicates ownership

Look at that strange dog! Its tail is short and shaped like the letter C!

It’s-a contraction form of It is or It has

What’s in this leather bag? Oh my God, it’s a gold bar!

Lose, Loose, Loss 

Lose-to mislay or suffer the loss of something

Be careful not to lose your money. You have to put it in the safest pocket of your backpack.

Loose-not free, not fastened, not tight

The little girl has another loose tooth.

The dog is loose. Where is its leash?

Loss-the fact or process of losing something or someone

Your boyfriend dumped you? What a big loss for him!

Principal, Principle

Principal- main, the most important, the head of an elementary or high school

The principal wants to see you at her office. She wants to talk to you about the bullying incident that happened in your class yesterday.

Principle- a basic truth, standard, or rule of behavior

Which is more powerful—money or principle?

Stationary, Stationery

Stationary-fixed, not moving

At first, I thought it was a bear…but I noticed that it was stationary, so I slowly moved closer. That’s when I realized it was just a stump.

Stationery-paper or envelopes used for writing letters

When I was a teenager, we didn’t have smartphones and of course, we didn’t have Social Media. How did we communicate with our friends and crushes? We wrote letters on cute stationeries.

There, Their, They're 

There- in that place

Please place your wet coat on that spot there, near the fireplace.

Their- belonging to them

Their house certainly looks spooky.

They’re – contraction form of They are

The Garcias are on their way to Arizona. They’re going to visit the Grand Canyon.

To, Too

To- toward, in the direction of

The girl told her parents that she was going to the mall. She lied. Instead, she went to the bar with her friends.

Too-very, but often used in a negative way

This dress is too long for me. Do you have a shorter one? I want to show my shapely legs to all people who care to look at me.

Weather, Whether 

Weather-atmospheric conditions such as temperature and cloudiness

Most of my friends frown whenever I tell them that rainy weather stimulates me mentally. I get so productive on rainy days.

Whether-helps express a choice or an alternative

Whether you like it or not, I’m going to delete your name from our Group Chat because you violated one rule.

Whose, Who's

Whose-the possessive form of Who

Whose purse is the red one on the countertop?

The man whose son is an astronaut is my aunt’s ex-boyfriend. They were college sweethearts.

Who’s-contraction of Who is or Who has

Who’s been eating my cookies? There were 10 cookies in the jar this morning, but now there are only six!

Your, You're 

Your-the possessive form of You

I love your voice, I love your eyebrows, I love your sense of humor, I love your snaggletooth. I love everything about you.

You’re-contraction for You are

You’re the perfect person for the job.


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