Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is this correct?

the candys 're in the box, the womens're at the car

I know 'you're', 'we're', 'they're' are valid usages, but can it be used for nouns?

share|improve this question
2  
I assume you are talking about written English? In spoken English, that kind of reduction happens all the time with this verb, including nouns. –  Kosmonaut Sep 14 '10 at 16:10
2  
That would be "the candies're in the box" –  user362 Sep 14 '10 at 20:17
2  
The plural of "woman" is "women". –  Gurzo Oct 18 '10 at 12:02
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Is this correct?

the candys 're in the box

It's not usually considered correct but it is sometimes encountered.

the womens're at the car

That's wrong for other reasons.

I know 'you're', 'we're', 'they're' are valid usages, but can it be used for nouns?

No, not usually.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for your reply. –  input Sep 14 '10 at 11:40
    
As for the "sometimes encountered," I'll throw out that I use "'re" instead of "are" on a lot of things. So do most of the people I know. I think it's just because of the general tendency for syllables without emphasis to get lost in quick speech. It would sound pretty weird to me if someone clearly enunciated the "are" in either of those sentences....Not to mention a lot of others... –  kitukwfyer Sep 14 '10 at 15:53
add comment

No, it's not correct. You'd have to say:

the candies are in the box, the women are at the car

share|improve this answer
add comment

Here are the top 21 ’re forms in the Corpus of Contemporary American English:

               TOT      SPOKEN   FICTION   MAGAZINE  NEWSPAPER  ACADEMIC
1   YOU'RE     244694   108878   65509     44733     22486      3088
2   WE'RE      195472   117655   26890     19939     28368      2620
3   THEY'RE    169989   94821    22991     23922     25776      2479
4   WHAT'RE    777      12       721       24        17         3
5   THERE'RE   442      169      211       23        33         6
6   HOW'RE     393      135      234       13        9          2
7   WHO'RE     189      18       130       29        11         1
8   WHERE'RE   142      2        129       5         4          2
9   WHY'RE     66       4        60        2                    
10  YE'RE      56                51        4                    1
11  THAT'RE    33       7        20        3         3          
12  'RE        24                22                  2          
13  YOUR'RE    19       3        7         6         1          2
14  HERE'RE    18       3        9         4         1          1
15  IFYOU'RE   15                          14                   1
16  PEOPLE'RE  15                14        1                    
17  HELL'RE    14                14                             
18  GUYS'RE    11                10        1                    
19  OWE'RE     10                1                   9          
20  THINGS'RE  10                10                             
21  THOSE'RE   10                10                             

As you can see, forms other than you’re, we’re, and they’re are quite rare in comparison. For the most part, they occur primarily in fiction, although there’re and how’re occur with some frequency in spoken English.

Of course, the two examples given in the original question are not correct because the plural of candy is candies not candys and the plural of woman is women not womens. There were no examples of candies’re in COCA, but there was one example of women’re.

share|improve this answer
    
What is "owe're"? I can't figure it out... –  ShreevatsaR Oct 18 '10 at 10:05
    
@ShreevatsaR: disappointingly, it seems to be just an artefact of the encoding or transcription, with an erroneous “o” appearing at the beginning of sentences. So a typical example is: […]I couldn't prevent the frown from sliding across my face. oWe 're still learning about them[…] I don’t have much of the corpus, so I’ve no idea how these arose. –  PLL Dec 5 '10 at 1:18
    
@PLL: Thanks! That clears up a mystery. –  ShreevatsaR Dec 5 '10 at 4:51
add comment

We would write The candies are in the box. If a native English speaker says that sentence out loud, they may pronounce it so it sounds more like The candies're in the box. (But we would never write it that way.)

Another example:

We would write The cars are in the parking lot.

If a native English speaker says it out loud, it might end up sounding like The cars're in the box (but we would never write it that way).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.