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I saw someone write the sentence "Of course they're". As a native English speaker, this instantly seemed wrong but I couldn't come up with a good reason as to why. I did a bit of research and there seems to be a rule called "stranding" where if there's an object before the clitic then it can't end like that but I don't entirely understand it.

marked as duplicate by James Waldby - jwpat7, FrustratedWithFormsDesigner, FumbleFingers, Marthaª, choster May 31 '13 at 22:06

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    Maybe there is a rule for that (I'm not really sure), but I have never heard anyone speak like that. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 31 '13 at 21:12
  • I looked up clitic and found: A morpheme that functions like a word, but appears not as an independent word but always attached to a following or preceding word. That doesn't seem to describe they're. – Jim May 31 '13 at 21:19
  • Although it's clear to me this is a duplicate (and I agree with @Jim that it misuses the word "clitic"), I've upvoted alongside my closevote because I think it's an interesting question that deserves to be revisited from time to time. – FumbleFingers May 31 '13 at 21:38
  • @Jim: no, but it does describe 're. Or at least so I understand. – Marthaª May 31 '13 at 22:02
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    No, you can't. Cliticized contractions are for unstressed function words, not stressed sentence codas. – John Lawler May 31 '13 at 22:07

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