Throes - throws

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These homophones - both words rhyme with 'goes'; that is, they are pronounced IPA: /θrəʊz/ - have sometimes been confused.

  • Throws is the plural of the noun 'a throw', as in 'Each player has two throws of the dice'.
  • As a verb, throws is the 3rd person singular of the verb 'to throw', as in 'He throws the ball'.
  • Throes are literally muscular spasms or contractions. We can say that a woman is 'in the throes of childbirth'. We talk of the 'death throes' of a hunted animal - the last few desperate movements of the muscles of the dying organism. We can also use the word figuratively. Writers beating their brows for inspiration might be said to be 'in the throes of composition'. A man groaning and twitching might be 'in the throes of' despair - or love!
Never write that someone 'is in the throws of' an emotion, etc. This just betrays your lack of knowledge. 
It should be someone 'is in the throes of' an emotion, etc.