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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grammar Goofiness: They're, there, their

So I need to go surfing this morning, instead of spend way too much time sifting through more Africa pictures. They will come, I promise. Questions from the one person in Iran who reads this blog:

Do I surf?

Do I surf well?

Today will be especially interesting, since my head, who still thinks my body is 18, thought it would be fun at the soccer game last night to move in an 18 year old fashion and consequently, pull my groin muscle. Mmm... that felt good.

Surfing is one of those sports where you feel like you've accomplished a lot just by paddling around. I mean, who else is doing this at 6:30 AM? Not many takers in the amateur category. I do go out with the "big boys." I figure, if you're going to go out, go big and die well. But that's not saying a lot to them, considering that I still wear a 4:3 wetsuit even in the middle of summer DURING THE DAY. It's a bit of a giveaway to those surfing nearby. "Ohhhh... it's the girl wrapped in the fur blanket."

On the whole, as a not-so-great-surfer, I have the advantage being a girl. Those territorial boys are much more tolerable to giggly girls that steal their waves than they are towards boys in general.

But, as promised...

I hopped on a site randomly the other day: "Eternally Distracted", some new blogger follower of my blog. I actually enjoyed reading her post, and she brought up the issues with the words "their" and "there".

As many of you know, I teach high school English in the inner city, and I have to be creative if I'm going to ever compete with their cell phones and their overly dramatic-for-no-apparent-reason-but-just-because-I'm-in-high-school lives. Most of the time I just dork out, and that helps calm their annoyance. After all, if you are a teacher, it is important that you realize: YOU ARE MERELY AN INTERRUPTION IN THEIR DAY. You are not Hillary Swank or Michelle Pfeiffer. However, to keep myself entertained, I also write songs for all their grammar rules. They won't pick up a textbook, but they'll learn ANY song.

Anyway, here they are singing about the difference between "they're", "there", and "their". I've included the lyrics below so you can follow along, but I do not know how to program a bouncing ball. HTML makes me dizzy. Enjoy!

T.H.E.Y.' (apostrophe) R.E.
It's for "they are" only.

If it's a place you need to be,
Location's T.H.E.R.E.
I'm over there.
You're over where?
T.H.E.R.E. is where.

There is one,
Or there are three.
Both are T.H.E.R.E.

It belongs to them:
Their house, their car --
Possession's T.H.E.I.R.


  1. Hi Heather - hope you don't mind, your Mom sent us all your blog when you were in Africa. I do enjoy it! Thanks for posting!
    I'm glad you made it back safely - I remember hearing about Uganda in the context of Idi Amin. Bad stuff (and no, I never saw the movie).

    Keep posting, very interesting,
    take care,
    Ruth (Nicole's Mom, Greg's mother-in-law)

  2. Hi, Ruth. No, I don't mind at all! Thanks for leaving me a comment! It's nice to hear from someone on the opposite coast.

    Wow, I'm very impressed with your Uganda knowledge. Most people would say, "Eedee A-who?"
    Take care.

  3. Hi Heather, I'm very impressed with your song.
    I teach high school too! Business Studies and Accounting are my specialities.I also love the ref."You're an interruption to their day"! How true.
    Would you mind if I copy the lyrics of your song for my students?

  4. Mimi -
    Not at all. :) Thank you for asking.

  5. Hi there,

    What a supercool song. My Granny would be so proud of you! ;0) I am going back to Bonnie Scotland to see her in a couple of weeks and will be sure to show her - I know she will love it and will most likely come up with another million varieties of it!

    I am going to add you to you reading thingy majiggy on my page - I hope you get some people popping across.

    Take Care

  6. Thanks, I'll let you know how they like it.
    Hope the lip is improving- arnica gel is great for that kind of thing if you can get hold of some. :)

  7. Hello Ridiculous Girl,

    I'm a student teacher in Commerce City Colorado and I taught your chant today to my fourth grade English Language Development class. They loved it and so did my clinical teacher!

    Thanks a ton!