Can "Robert is..." be contracted to "Robert's?" - Page 2


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Thread: Can "Robert is..." be contracted to "Robert's?"

  1. #11
    "Robert's" is an absolutely fine contractions of "Robert is", just as "he's" is an absolutely fine contraction of "he is". Yes, "Robert's" is also used as the possessive form, but it's (it is) not restricted to that.

    To be fair, as a contraction of "Robert is" it's more often used in spoken idiolects than written ones. But to be even more fair, more and more emails and blogs are written using spoken idiolects rather than written ones.

    Either way, it is (it's) still fine.
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  2. #12
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    After some googling, it seems the hardline is that it's incorrect. However, the more relaxed rules says it's ok, but it's a blurry business as it looks just like the possessive form of a proper noun.

  3. #13
    Context is vital here. There's no way that anyone with a good grasp of English could mistake "Robert's on his way to the shop" for the possessive form of a proper noun. It's certainly frowned upon, but incorrect is a stretch.

    When you break it down into the third-person pronoun, it becomes easier to understand why it isn't incorrect: "He's on his way to the shop". Or: "Dad's on his way home". You can't mistake those for possessive nouns either.
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  4. #14
    Agree - context explains all, so using the contraction for "Robert is" is not incorrect. Now, having said that, I personally wouldn't use it in the narrative of a book, as I feel that should be more formal writing. I would have no problem using it in dialogue, or on a blog, or other more 'informal' formats.
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  5. #15
    You guys are pretty amazing, you know that? I had no idea I'd get these very cool explanations when I posted this question. So thank you everyone!
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  6. #16
    Add another voice to the "Robert's is a perfectly acceptable contraction of Robert is" crowd.
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  7. #17
    I would not hesitate to use Robert's in dialogue, or in first person narration if it fit the narrator's character. A bit more about contractions;

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  8. #18
    Sorry to rain on the parade of those who think it is ok to use Robert's for Robert is but it is grammatically incorrect and the verbal contraction does not apply to Proper nouns. On the subject of grammar, no it isn't just there for guidance to make sure we understand each other. We continually break grammatical rules in spoken speech because we have the advantage of gesture, tone, stress and a number of other vocal factors to make ourselves known,so we can understand each other even when we break grammatical rules. Written language is different of course and grammar exists to clarify whatever we are writing. Every language has its rules of acceptabiiity and in English the genitive 's should be distinct from the contracted 'is' to 's.

  9. #19
    It's a blog. As long as the communication is clear, feel free to break some rules.
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  10. #20
    Contrary to some other opinions here, no you should not use Robert's as a contraction of Robert is. The verbal contraction should not be used with proper nouns and indeed cannot be used if the individual has a name ending in s such as Evans. Evans's would almost certainly confuse a reader.

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