There are - short form

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Carol89, May 30, 2009.

  1. Carol89 Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Does "there are" have a short form???
    There is = there's
    there are = there're?
  2. alaethea Senior Member

    India-Tamil & English
    Newspapers I've come cross generally read "there's" for both.
  3. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    There are a few threads about there're, which is an informal, spoken form of "there are".
  4. Rational_gaze Senior Member

    British English
    There is = there's.
    There are = there're (but it is in all ways horrible).

    There's cannot be used for 'there are'.
  5. alaethea Senior Member

    India-Tamil & English
    That could've been said with a little more grace ;)
  6. daffodiltulip Member

    There's is the contraction of there is and it is more natural in everyday speech. There is should be used when emphasis is needed as the contraction wouldn't work.

    There're is completely wrong.

    There's used as a contraction for there are is, unfortunately, a common error in use all the time, but it is still completely wrong. A bit like people saying the word dissect, di-ssect instead of dis-sect.
  7. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Where I live, we write "there are" spelled out in most contexts, though most people here pronounce it as "there's" to avoid the double "re". (They are not confusing singular with plural.) I myself grew up pronouncing "there are" as "there're", as my parents did, just as we pronounce "we are" as "we're". The "there're" pronunciation is generally more common among the more educated and in the more urban areas, but both pronunciations are heard everywhere and in all social circles.
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    On what basis do you make such a categorical statement?

    I know that there're creates irrational hatred in some people, but "completely wrong" is just a bit too absolute for me.
    Please look at some of the previous threads on this topic.
    They are easy to find using the forum's dictionary and thread title search:
  9. viva_aotearoa Member

    Auckland, NZ
    New Zealand - English
    Nah, in New Zealand I've never come across 'there're' ever written down. When we speak of course we slur it together, and it ends up sounding like 'there're'. But yeah, sometimes it is substituted for 'there's' but it is technically incorrect.

    But yeah, don't ever write down 'there're' because it's horrible =)
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If we accept:
    ... as written forms of a particular spoken form - and we do - what is the possible objection to rendering the contracted spoken form of there are as there're.

    One objection seems reasonable, and I've said it before in another thread: viva_aotearoa's objection that it looks horrible. Horrible is not the same as completely wrong.
    I have the same objection to yeah, of course :rolleyes:
  11. Scalloper Senior Member

    UK, English
    Each of the other contractions corresponds to an actual pronunciation - the letter replaced by an apostrophe is the same one ont pronounced. "There're" doesn't correspond to an actual pronunication that I've noticed - I can't even think what it would sound like
  12. rcottere Member

    English - American (East Coast)
    I always use "there're" pronounced as the way as "there." I find it accurately reflects the my pronunciation in colloquial speech.

    "There are no good books to read in the house."

    I generally omit the "are", as it naturally elides with "there", but I think writing the " 're" makes it more grammatical in the written form. I make a distinction between "there're" and "there are", the latter pronounced as two separate words and used for emphasis.
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Perhaps you are a non-rhotic speaker?

    For rhotic speakers, there is a very distinct "actual pronunciation". It disappears in rapid speech.
  14. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    I'm with Panj and Forero on this. For rhotic speakers, there're makes perfect sense, because it reflects the actual pronunciation of the contraction, and it follows the standard rules for contraction.
    And I can second Forero's observation that there's tends to be the more common way less educated speakers address the problem, while there're tends to be more common among those who are better educated, in the South.
  15. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    In principle, the same is true for non-rhotic speakers, too, since non-rhotic speakers generally pronounce word-final /r/ before a subsequent vowel.

    That said, my (non-rhotic) pronunciation of unstressed "there are" is identical to "there're", whereas my pronunciation of - say - "there is" is very different from "there's".

    I suspect that's the reason why we (I?) write "there're" only in very informal contexts: it's a sort of eye-dialect rather than an indication of a contraction.
  16. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I agree with Loob about the reason we don't normally need to write "there're". It is eye-dialect, used when it is important for someone to "hear" our words or for the reader to "know" a character by their way of speaking. It is the usual way to pronounce unemphatic "there are".

    But just as there are people who say "Charles'" where I say "Charles's" and even "lens'" where I say "lenses", there are also folks who say "there's" where I say "there're". Many of the same people use "there are", not "there is", when emphasizing the verb, so it is not a matter of "bad grammar".
    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  17. mplsray Senior Member

    I'd say rather that you are using there're as a pronunciation spelling rather than as an example of eye-dialect: It's unlikely you are using it deliberately to show that you and your reader are superior to the person using there're, and keeping up such a superior front is the very purpose of eye-dialect, as opposed to pronunciation spelling.

    It still seems to me that there're is essentially a contraction. A relatively rare one--go here and scroll up the page--but it follows similar rules to other contractions. Just as you can say (or write) :tick:"I'm his friend." but not :cross:"He says I'm not the one who wrote the report but I'm." you can say (or write) "There're too many buttons on this remote control." but not :cross:"He thinks there aren't too many buttons on this remote control, but in my view there're."
  18. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I think we'll have to agree to differ, mplsray. I know from previous threads that you and I use the term "eye-dialect" differently; for me it doesn't have the negative connotations it has for you.

    That said, I accept that "eye-dialect" may be the wrong term for what I was trying to describe (I did say 'a sort of eye-dialect';)). I use there're not as a pronunciation spelling but as an indication of register. There is, for me, no difference in pronunciation between there are and there're (unless the are in there are is stressed). But in writing, there is a distinct difference in register, with there are being usable in all contexts whereas there're is highly informal.

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