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Are there limited number of words we can append a 're to?

Are the following words correct:

  • where're
  • here're
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3 Answers 3

The written contraction 're is appropriate where the spoken form that is being represented has contracted the word are into an /r/ sound attached to the preceding syllable. For instance, they're represents a pronunciation that is the same as, or very close to, the pronunciation of there and their.

In a case like a spoken sequence like Where are you going? in which the word are is not fully enunciated, you'll nonetheless notice the /r/ sound does not attach to the preceding syllable (where), but has its own vowel sound. Hence Where are you going? is the appropriate written form. (Note it is common to speak without the word are at all; to represent that, where you going? would be right).

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In English, are contracts to 're. Technically, you can use a contraction wherever you might normally use the full, written out word. However, you should be very careful when doing this. Contractions are:

  • Informal : While contractions can be very useful in written English, many experts caution against the use of contractions in formal communication. Since contractions tend to add a light and informal tone to your writing, they are often inappropriate for academic research papers, business presentations, and other types of official correspondence.

  • Sometimes hard to distinguish from other words in the sentence: Saying "Where're" out loud leads to something along the lines of where-er. As "where're" is not a common contraction, many people will have trouble understanding.

  • Used more for speaking: Since contractions are, as mentioned above, informal, they tend to be used more in speech. Because of this, you may not want to use "here're" and "where're" because they are hard to pronounce and differentiate from other words in the sentence.

In short, you can use those contractions, and you can technically affix "'re" to any word which is followed by are. However, use caution for the reasons above.

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Technically, in written speech, contractions are generally not used in written works. However, in spoken speech, any contraction goes, that is, as long as it makes sense to the audience. Thus, in spoken speech, there isn't really a limit of words to which 're can be appended to.

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