Author Topic: Stupid grammar question  (Read 2452 times)

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Offline DanetteFromOrlando

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Stupid grammar question
« on: February 19, 2009, 08:30 AM »
Yes, I should be posting this annonymously--I'm an English major, after all!

Here goes:

Is got's a valid contraction?

The newspaper he got's torn.
The newspaper he got is torn.

Here are my disclaimers:
I didn't get enough sleep; my Internet is slow; I missed grammar class that day;  here's my brain; here's my brain on Red Bull . . .
A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY, Sept. 2012
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
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http://www.danettehaworth.com

Offline MaryWitzl

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Re: Stupid grammar question
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 08:39 AM »
Not a stupid question at all, Danette!  And I'm [word censored] if I can answer it authoritatively, but I suspect that it's one of those 'you can do this, but we hardly ever do' things in English. Whenever there is an adjectival complement that follows 'be', we tend not to contract it when the subject is followed by a modifying expression like 'I got'. So you can say "This newspaper's torn' and that is no problem, but as soon as you add that modifying 'I got', the resulting contraction sounds odd -- and clunky.

If I had my Quirk & Greenbaum Comprehensive Grammar of English bible with me, I could give you a definitive answer, but maybe someone with more smarts -- or a Q & G copy -- will come along!


SproutQ

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Re: Stupid grammar question
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 08:44 AM »
I agree.  I think you CAN do it, but it's probably not officially allowed and it might take the reader out of the story while he/she figures it out. Somehow, I know when I read "the newspaper he got" that you mean the newspaper he just fetched, or was given or something.  But when I read "the newspaper he got's" it sounds like "He gots that newspaper."




RyanBruner

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Re: Stupid grammar question
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 09:01 AM »
Yes, it is valid, although the construction is quite colloquial in nature.  But I rather like it if this is in dialogue or the voice of a character who is stereotypical redneck or uneducated, etc. 

So, I'm in favor of keeping it.  I like it.  It has personality!

Offline DanetteFromOrlando

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Re: Stupid grammar question
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 12:22 PM »
Thanks!

The answer I got's helpful. And I gots three of them! hehee
A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY, Sept. 2012
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets
Me & Jack

http://www.danettehaworth.com