Oct 7, 2008

There're and There's

Hey everyone! Nice to see everyone posting again. I was wondering where everyone was for a while.

This will just be a short post about something I've noticed. Also, this is the first post about English for this blog, isn't it? It's not a foreign language to me, and not one that I "learnt" (learned) but this is something that I've noticed.

Languages change. If not for the changes of language, there probably wouldn't be any 'foreign' languages for us to learn, just one language that everyone spoke. And sometimes languages change in our own lifetimes.

We were always taught that "there is" (or "there's") is singular, and "there are" (there're) is plural. But more and more in modern spoken English, the more difficult-to-pronounce "there're" is changed to "there's".

I haven't heard anyone say "there're" for years and years. Even when it is grammatically correct. Hang on, no, that's a lie, I heard a non-native speaker use it and it is because it stuck out at me so much that I took note of it. Since then I've noticed "there's" used more and more where it is grammatically incorrect. It has come to the point that I've started writing down whenever I hear it so that I can reassure myself that it's not just me!

Is it just me? I'm going to try and write down and reply to this post every time I hear a native speaker use "there's" when it's not grammatically correct. I'll do the same for every time I hear "there're". As scientist always say, a conclusion can only be made when data is collected. (And as linguists always say, 'data' is a plural, so that sentence should have actually been "data are collected"... ah well, what did I say about language changing!!!)

I invite everyone else to do the same! Maybe we can get to the bottom of this.

1 comment:

blueoceanpalm said...

Now you've got me questioning my usage of "there's" and "there're." I know that I always write "there are" instead of "there're" because it seems terribly awkward for me to type "there're," and I sometimes say "there's" when I really should be saying "there are," but it makes me wonder if I contract "there are" into "there're" when I'm speaking. I'm almost sure that I do at least sometimes. I'll definitely be on the lookout from now on though! :)