'Yes we're'


Philippines - Filipino & English
I've just read today an English language newspaper's headline, which goes this way:

Aren't we proud? Yes we're

This is not right, is it? But how about this:

Can we do it? No we can't

If the first one is wrong, how do I explain that?

  • Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    There is a rule that we don't use the contraction for a short answer, but this applies only in the positive. With the negative the contraction sounds all right.

    Yes, we are.
    No, we're not/we aren't.

    So No, we can't is correct.


    Senior Member
    British English
    The actual headline is, "Aren’t we proud? Yes we are."
    It was when this was picked up by United Arab Services that someone came up with 'Aren’t we proud? Yes we're.'


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    This phenomenon is part of the evidence that words like can't are verbs. It's the negative inflected form of the verb - it's not (these days) simply a contraction of can + not. So the explanation is that such sentences have to end in a stressed verb: are and can't are verbs, we're isn't.
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