Contracted form - Have/Has

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Onomatopeia

Member
Portuguese
Hello everyone,

The doubt of today is about "Have/Has got" in the contracted form.

Example:
a) The dogs have got a nice house.
b) The dogs've got a nice house. (Can I contract it?)

or

a) Jones has got a bike.
b) Jones's got a bike. (Can I contract it?)
c) Jones' got a bike. (Can I contract it in this way?)

So, my doubt is if I can contract 'Have/has' when there's a plural noun or a name that finish with S.

Thank you for reading my post.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Your example c) is wrong, for me, Ono - that apostrophe I only use for the possessive case, if at all.

    Hmm, Onomatopoeia, huh? :)
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    1b) Maybe, but better not.
    2b) No.
    2c) NO!

    The thing is that in speech 1a often sounds as though it could have been written like 1b (or the really ghastly 1c: The dogs of got a nice house).
    Similarly in speech 2a often sounds as though it could have been written like 2b (or 2d: Jones is got a bike).
    But we wouldn't really make any such contractions in writing (some idiots do write "of" for "have", especially in "could have", "would have", and "should have").

    We mostly use 's with pronouns: he's, she's, it's. But take care not to confuse has with is.
    You can use 's with nouns and names, but not when the word ends in 's' or 'z'. You can say Smith's got a bike. The cat's caught the mouse. My son's won the race.
    But I'd say that 've looks odd except with pronouns: I've, you've, we've, they've.
    Even "could've", though fine in speech, looks odd in writing.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Edin, I have dubts about your answer to 2b). The poor fellow can't help having the name Jones. :) We have no such inconvenience wirh a name like Mary, for instance. :)
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Edin, I have dubts about your answer to 2b). The poor fellow can't help having the name Jones.
    I'm going to stick with my answer. We can say "joan ziz go' ta baik", but we have to write "Jones has got a bike".
    I don't think it makes him "poor" if his name forces us to write properly. It doesn't have to sound any different.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I'm going to stick with my answer. We can say "joan ziz go' ta baik", but we have to write "Jones has got a bike".
    On reflection, I think I agree. Between the two /z/ sounds there is a schwa when we mean 'has' and /i/ when we mean 'is' (the difference being barely perceptible, if at all). Either way we pronounce the full verbs ('has' in its weak form) so why contract in writing, indeed?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I'm with Edinburgher on this. It's just the convention of writing in English. We just don't write James'll go or James's got a dog even though we say something that sounds like it.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    In AE, we'd leave "got" out of these entirely:
    The dogs have a nice house.
    Jones has a bike.
    Actually, we would in BE too. Nevertheless I reckon that a sizable proportion of speakers on both sides of the pond would, at least at times, leave 'got' in.
    But when we do leave it out, we'd be even less likely to contract, even in speech:
    The dogs've a nice house; Jones's a bike. :confused: Mind you, it can be a bit close to call when speaking quickly.
     

    Onomatopeia

    Member
    Portuguese
    Actually, we would in BE too. Nevertheless I reckon that a sizable proportion of speakers on both sides of the pond would, at least at times, leave 'got' in.
    But when we do leave it out, we'd be even less likely to contract, even in speech:
    The dogs've a nice house; Jones's a bike. :confused: Mind you, it can be a bit close to call when speaking quickly.
    According to my english grammar book (which seems to not be always right) The contracted forms 've or 's are only used with "have got", maybe that's why "the dogs've a nice house" would sound odd. (maybe?).
     

    Onomatopeia

    Member
    Portuguese
    1b) Maybe, but better not.
    2b) No.
    2c) NO!

    The thing is that in speech 1a often sounds as though it could have been written like 1b (or the really ghastly 1c: The dogs of got a nice house).
    Similarly in speech 2a often sounds as though it could have been written like 2b (or 2d: Jones is got a bike).
    But we wouldn't really make any such contractions in writing (some idiots do write "of" for "have", especially in "could have", "would have", and "should have").

    We mostly use 's with pronouns: he's, she's, it's. But take care not to confuse has with is.
    You can use 's with nouns and names, but not when the word ends in 's' or 'z'. You can say Smith's got a bike. The cat's caught the mouse. My son's won the race.
    But I'd say that 've looks odd except with pronouns: I've, you've, we've, they've.
    Even "could've", though fine in speech, looks odd in writing.
    Thank you. Your explanation was really useful.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    According to my english grammar book (which seems to not be always right) The contracted forms 've or 's are only used with "have got".
    That's not right. It would be not be at all unusual to use them with "have done", "have gone", "have walked the dog", or indeed with any use of "have" or "has" as a present perfect auxiliary.
     
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