An enormous a part of the English language revolves round ease and comfort. It endeavors to discover methods to make life simpler for each the speaker and the author.
As an illustration, you may have a number of abbreviations that relieve writers of getting to write a barrage of letters when only a couple would do.
As an illustration, you may have abbreviations like “Mr.” which is brief for “mister,” “Dr.” which is brief for “physician,” “Ex.” which is brief for “instance,” and “Dec.” which is brief for “December.”
English can be crammed with acronyms, preparations of letters that each spell out different phrases whereas forming their very own distinctive phrase.
An ideal living proof is how the phrase “scuba” is definitely an acronym for “self-contained underwater respiratory equipment.” Think about if you happen to had to say that mouthful each time.
Different well-known acronyms embrace “SIM,” “radar,” “AIDS,” and “laser.” Sure, laser is an acronym, and it stands for “mild amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”
There are various different methods English audio system take shortcuts, a few of which could border on the lazy. For instance, we use loads of contractions.
Contractions are if you shorten a phrase or a bunch of phrases by omitting particular letters and sounds.
For this reason English audio system can say “I’m” as an alternative of “I’m.” It is usually how we get away with saying “you’re” slightly than “you’re.”
Curiously, many individuals get confused between “you’re” and “your.” Simply keep in mind, “you’re” is the contraction, whereas “your” is the possessive type.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the one case the place contractions can confuse individuals.
Typically, individuals are unsure whether or not the contracted type is appropriate within the first place. A first-rate instance of this may be seen within the phrases “there are.”
Can we contract them to “there’re,” or would that be plain incorrect?
Let’s attempt to reply that query collectively.
Is “there’re” a respectable contraction for “there are”?
Strictly talking, on a grammatical stage, it’s appropriate. “There’re” is a respectable contraction of “there are.” Nevertheless, simply because the foundations say one thing is appropriate doesn’t mean you possibly can really use it.
As an illustration, most textual content editors don’t acknowledge “there’re” and can flag it if you happen to write it. What’s extra, if you happen to look it up in most online dictionaries, together with Cambridge, Oxford, and Collins, you received’t discover this phrase.
So, must you use “there’re” or not?
“There’re” is brief for both “there are” or “there have been.” Which contraction you’re going for can solely be understood by means of the encircling context.
There’re a number of issues we want to discuss.
Within the above sentence, it needs to be clear that we’re contracting “there are,” not “there have been.” How are you going to inform? Easy, you possibly can take a look at the verb “want.”
If we had meant “there have been,” then “want” would have been previously, giving us “wanted.”
There’re a number of issues we would have liked to discuss.
Sadly, it’s not at all times going to be this minimize and dry, which is perhaps a bit complicated for the reader.
There’re mangoes within the fridge.
With none surrounding context or extra info, it’s virtually unattainable for us to know what the creator is actually saying.
Are there at the moment mangoes within the fridge, or have been there mangoes within the fridge, however there aren’t anymore?
We are going to return to this ambiguity a bit later, however, for now, let’s attempt to determine whether or not we must always use “there’re” within the first place or not.
As talked about earlier, the appropriate query isn’t whether or not it is best to use “there’re.” The proper query is whether or not there are any circumstances the place it’s okay to use it.
Nevertheless, earlier than speaking concerning the conditions the place we will use “there’re,” there are some things we want to clear up.
Why use contractions in any respect?
Contractions carry out two essential features, one among which serves the author and the opposite serves the speaker.
For the author, contractions provide a approach of decreasing the number of letters essential to ship throughout the identical message.
It might sound pedantic to deal with a number of letters, however if you abbreviate each “I’m” to “I’m,” each “you’re” to “you’re,” and each “they may” to “they’ll,” these omissions add up.
The different service contractions do is for the speaker. They permit them to reduce the number of syllables they’ve to use whereas speaking.
To see this clearly, let’s take a look at the number of syllables in every of the aforementioned contractions.
“I’m” is manufactured from two syllables, whereas “I’m” is only a single syllable.
Equally, “you’re” consists of two syllables, but “you’re” is simply made up of 1 syllable.
And, as you will have guessed by now, “they may” requires two syllables to utter, however “they’ll” is proud of a single syllable.
So, briefly, although you possibly can contract loads of issues, it solely is smart to use a contraction if one of many two features is achieved.
You should utilize a contraction if it’ll assist you use fewer letters whereas writing or permit you to utter fewer syllables whereas talking.
Are these onerous and quick guidelines?
Clearly, the reply isn’t any. However, they’re glorious pointers to keep in mind.
Another on the usage of contractions
Earlier than we transfer on from the topic, there’s yet another factor we must always level out. Contractions are allowable in casual writing.
Nevertheless, when writing a proper doc, you shouldn’t use any contraction comparable to “you’re” and “they’re,” not to mention a contentious contraction comparable to “there’re.”
On the distinction between speech and writing
It goes with out saying that what we are saying and what we write are two various things.
Regardless that writing is a crude approximation of what we are saying, it doesn’t measure up.
When writing, there are a number of guidelines we now have to comply with to make our writing legible. These are grammatical guidelines, punctuation guidelines, and even formatting guidelines, and they’re all supposed to make the reader’s life simpler.
On the finish of the day, each author ought to attempt to assist the reader glide over the writing with out ever having to pause, to do a double-take, or to reread a passage lots of of occasions simply to perceive what the hell is happening. I’m you Foucault.
Then again, though audio system ought to abide by the identical grammatical guidelines enforced on writers, audio system break these guidelines on a regular basis and get away with it.
In reality, audio system are recognized for utilizing run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and dangling participles, but, more often than not, the listener has no drawback following what’s being stated and comprehending all of it.
Why is that the case? How come audio system can get away with issues writers can solely dream of?
Nicely, there are a few causes. For one factor, when talking, individuals have their physique language and voice tone to assist ship the message.
This would possibly appear to be a refined distinction to you, however what if I informed you that, in accordance to some research, that what we are saying solely accounts for 7 p.c of the listener’s understanding?
In reality, this examine discovered that once we interpret a spoken message, 55 p.c of what we perceive comes to us from the speaker’s physique language, and the remaining 38 p.c may be attributed to our interpretation of the speaker’s tone of voice.
Which means that 93 p.c of what we interpret when others converse has nothing to do with what they’re really saying.
Now, one more reason audio system can break the foundations and get away with it’s that they’ve the posh of correcting any misunderstandings first hand.
Since they’re there with the listener, they’ll personally reply any and all questions, together with these arising out of a misunderstanding. Writers, nevertheless, would not have this luxurious.
One very last thing to notice is that the foundations of language are usually not like the foundations of arithmetic or logic. Whereas the foundations governing linear algebra are immutable, the foundations of language change on a regular basis.
Don’t consider me? Simply examine the English we converse right now with the English of the King James Bible, written greater than 400 years in the past. They’re virtually utterly completely different languages.
This strikes some as shocking as a result of the foundations of language don’t solely come throughout as very logical, however additionally they seem to be timeless.
When you ask any grammar geek about subject-verb settlement or dangling participles, they offers you an extended soliloquy about how we want to all comply with the foundations of grammar and how correct grammar is the final bastion of civilization.
However, this actually isn’t the case.
Language is an evolving creature, one whose guidelines change on a regular basis. What provides language its legitimacy isn’t some summary rule that exists regardless of individuals.
This legitimacy comes from the settlement of the bulk. In different phrases, if the vast majority of English audio system determined to change a sure rule tomorrow, then that rule would change, no matter how onerous the grammar nazis would possibly complain.
Now, seeing as we now have coated the primary floor that can ferry us by means of the remainder of the article, let’s see the arguments which might be in help of utilizing “there’re” in addition to those that say we shouldn’t make it a factor.
What the detractors of “there’re” have to say
Let’s begin with the naysayers as a result of they’ve extra to say.
For starters, they argue that there isn’t any consensus about this contraction, even amongst official sources comparable to dictionaries. Ergo, so far as language guidelines go, the dearth of consensus or not less than majority settlement is sufficient grounds to reject “there’re” altogether.
Nevertheless, for them, that isn’t the worst half. The worst half is that this contraction is ineffective.
Let’s take a look at it from the speaker’s standpoint.
To begin with, “there’re” may be onerous to pronounce given the repeated “R” sound. It feels heavy to the tongue and virtually a bit unnatural.
Furthermore, this contraction doesn’t cut back the number of syllables. Whereas “there are” is made up of two syllables, “there’re” additionally takes up two syllables.
The solely factor this contraction omits is the glottal cease that comes with the “a,” but that isn’t sufficient justification to settle for this contraction.
If something, it’s that glottal cease that makes “there are” simpler to pronounce than “there’re.”
Now, if we take a look at issues from the author’s perspective, issues solely worsen.
For one factor, seeing as there’s a whole lot of competition surrounding this contraction, utilizing it will give pause to any reader and break their circulate.
Moreover, it actually doesn’t do a great job of shortening the number of characters a author has to use as a result of even although you might need omitted the “a,” you continue to have to place an apostrophe in its stead.
All of this isn’t to point out the confusion that may be attributable to “there’re,” the one we alluded to earlier.
In any case, since “there’re” can be utilized to contract each “there are” and “there have been,” the reader would possibly get confused if the context isn’t clear sufficient.
A method out of this confusion is to designate “there’re” to solely “there are” whereas having to author “there have been” in full each time.
That is comparable to what occurs with “they’re,” the place it’s clear that this contraction is brief for “they’re.” Nevertheless, nobody used “they’re” to denote “they have been.”
It might trigger an excessive amount of confusion. The similar applies to “you’re” being shortened to “you’re,” but we have a tendency to write “you have been” out in full slightly than giving it the identical contraction.
What the supporters of “there’re” have to say
Earlier than something, virtually everyone agrees that “there’re” shouldn’t be utilized in writing, be it formal or casual. However, they do argue that it’s okay to use it in casual speech.
Keep in mind how we stated speech guidelines differ from writing guidelines and that language guidelines are all about majority settlement?
Nicely, the supporters argue that utilizing “there’re” could be very pure in some dialects of English and that some components of the world that talk English use this contraction on a regular basis.
In addition they say that if we have been to comply with the foundations of English grammar to the letter, we wouldn’t discover something incorrect with “there’re” within the first place, which is sufficient to make it a respectable contraction.
There’re: Closing Verdict
Right here’s my recommendation. Don’t use “there’re” in writing. It’ll simply stump the reader, and also you don’t need that.
And, until you reside in a spot the place individuals typically use this contraction, you’re higher off going with the complete “there are.”
In any case, the unique phrase and its contraction are the very same number of syllables, so it’s not going to value you something.
The submit “There’re”: The Definitive Guide appeared first on Linguablog.