Theirs vs. Them in English Grammar

The Difference between 'Theirs' and 'Them'

What is the difference between 'them' and 'theirs?' 'Theirs' is the third person plural possessive pronoun. 'Them' is a third-person pronoun. What else?

Theirs vs. Them

Main Similarity and Difference

'Theirs' and 'them' are both pronouns. 'Theirs' is the possessive pronoun and 'them' is the object form of 'they'.

Theirs

Function 1: Possessive Pronoun

'Theirs' is the third-person plural possessive pronoun in the English language. It can be used to refer to something or someone belonging to or associated with others.

Theirs are the ones with the red bow on them .

Function 2: Generic Pronoun

Instead of 'his or hers' you can use 'theirs' to indicate that something belongs to a person without mentioning their gender.

Students must prepare their applications and send in theirs by the end of the month .

of + possessive pronouns

Sometimes, to show belonging you can use the structure of 'of + possessive pronouns'.

He's a friend of theirs .

Them

Function 1: Object of Verb

'Them' is a third-person plural pronoun. It is used as the object of a verb

Tell them you came home early .

Function 2: Object of Preposition

It is used as the object of a preposition.

Can we not sit next to them ?

Function 3: Predicative

It is used as a predicative after the verb be.

It's them . Shall I invite them in ?

Function 4: Generic Pronoun

You use 'them' instead of 'him or her' to refer to a person without explicitly stating whether that person is a male or a female.

Talk to children about the environment and tell them to be responsible .

You use 'them' to refer to non-binary people who want to be referred to as 'they' and 'them'.

Do you know Tina ? I need to call them .

'Them' instead of 'Those'

Sometimes in non-standard English people use 'them' instead of 'those'. It is grammatically incorrect, so don't use it in formal or written English.

I need to buy one of them hamburgers .

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