Can "Robert is..." be contracted to "Robert's?" - Page 3


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

  1. #21
    Evans's would almost certainly confuse a reader.
    Then take out the second s.
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by tony0310 View Post
    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.
    It is no more grammatically incorrect than "Dad's on his way home" or "she's on her way home" is grammatically incorrect.

    "Jack's on his way there now".

    Nothing whatsoever grammatically incorrect about that sentence. It is frowned upon in academia, yes, but this isn't academia. And in dialogue, 95% of native English speakers would use the contraction.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tony0310 View Post
    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.
    And yet, that's the correct form for the possessive. While in certain cases it's acceptable (or even expected) to drop the additional 's,' I believe the rule of thumb there is that if you hear an additional sound, you write an additional letter. I often use the construction "Markus's" in my story (as he's the main character, his name comes up a lot), and I've always pronounced it "Markuses." Any reader confused by that probably shouldn't be reading my book (or any book, for that matter).
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  4. #24
    Cadence sorry but your suggestion makes even less sense. If we wanted to say Evans is coming home and wrote it as Evans coming home instead then that is just wrong.

    And Sam, you are mistaken too. I said 's should not be used with proper nouns and the examples you gave are not proper nouns.

    Gamer is right but the possessive indicator for a name like Markus can be written either as Markus' or Markus's. Both are correct.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by tony0310 View Post
    And Sam, you are mistaken too. I said 's should not be used with proper nouns and the examples you gave are not proper nouns.
    I've seen it done in countless books throughout my lifetime, but perhaps those authors were mistaken as well.
    Last edited by Sam; July 11th, 2013 at 10:39 PM.
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    "One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know." ~ Groucho Marx.

    "It is better to be feared than loved, if one cannot be both". ~ Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer". ~ Bruce Lee.

    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few". ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

    "Give a man a mask and he will show you his true face". ~ Oscar Wilde.

    "He who learns but does not think is lost; he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger". ~ Confucius.

  6. #26
    I just did a google for "proper nouns" contractions and of the first few sites I looked at, not one said it was incorrect. In fact, the only mention of not using contractions with proper nouns was a caution not to use it for formal (business/academic) or professional writing.
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  7. #27
    Seems like you would only use it in dialog, either while you're actually addressing someone or showing someone else's speech.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by tony0310 View Post
    And Sam, you are mistaken too. I said 's should not be used with proper nouns and the examples you gave are not proper nouns.
    Dad is a proper noun when used in place of his name by a child. So, "Dad's on his way home" is correct.
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  9. #29
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    So you can get two pages of posts discussing something this simple? All right then. I just read a Margaret Atwood short story that included two examples of the type of contraction in question. Because of this thread, I was looking for it. But I've probably seen it countless times without noticing it. I use it when I speak, and would use it in dialog without giving it a second thought.
    Last edited by Myers; July 12th, 2013 at 12:02 AM.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
    I just did a google for "proper nouns" contractions and of the first few sites I looked at, not one said it was incorrect. In fact, the only mention of not using contractions with proper nouns was a caution not to use it for formal (business/academic) or professional writing.
    I have books that don't say not to put your hand in an alligator's mouth too but that doesn't mean you shouldn't!

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