In this sentence, which one to use and why:

He is not going to change his practices based on (their)(they're) being unpresidential.

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    The contraction "they're" is a short form of the words "they are"; so if you replace "they're" with "they are" in any sentence where "they're" properly occurs, the resulting wording should make sense. (And if it doesn't make sense, "they're" was not the right spelling in the first place.) – Sven Yargs Sep 13 '18 at 5:41
  • @SvenYargs People, Read the question again. – 炸鱼薯条德里克 Sep 13 '18 at 8:22
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    @神秘德里克: I understand the question, and I know how to determine whether they're or their is correct. My previous comment was an attempt to suggest a method that Rebecca can use on this and future occasions to determine whether they're is the right choice—regardless of whether the they in a particular instance refers to people, subatomic particles, or abstract arguments. – Sven Yargs Sep 13 '18 at 17:28
  • Rebecca, Sven Yargs is wholly correct and you'll find more help for Questions like that at English Language Learners… – Robbie Goodwin Sep 24 '18 at 19:32
  • Only "their" is correct here. See the similar question Was “their being followed” replaced by “they're being followed” over the years? for more information about this construction. – herisson Nov 12 '18 at 15:23

It is most certainly their

He is not going to change his practices based on their being unpresidential.

Their is the possessive of they and they're is a shorter form of "they are"

The sentence here refer's to the idealogy of a "group" of people and the sentence above cannot permit "they're" in any possible manner as it collapses the core value of the sentence.

Just remember the simple trick - They're is nothing but a shorter way of saying They are.


I'm pretty sure it's their. they're forms a clause, which leads to the need of some leading words like based on that they're ... or based on the fact that they're ....

  • 神秘德里克 can you explain a useful difference between "… based on (their)(they're) being unpresidential" and "based on that they're ... or based on the fact that they're"? – Robbie Goodwin Sep 24 '18 at 19:30

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