1

"Contact" could be used as a noun. It could be used as plural as in-

The more contacts the cloth has with the dirty surface, the more sploiled it gets.

"Contact details" is different. "Contact details" means the details like (1) address, (2) phone number, (3) email Id etc.

I often find the people using "contacts" for "contact details" as in-

I have lost my cell phone, so the contacts have been lost.

Evident enough, what the speaker wants to convey is that he has lost the contact details that were stored in his cell phone.

My question is: can "contacts" be used for "contact details"?

  • You have answered your own question. Yes, as you say, you often find people using "contacts" for "contact details" because it is easier to say, which is why you said "cell phone" instead of "cellular telephone". – Roaring Fish Feb 7 '16 at 4:57
  • @RoaringFish I took an ielts test. The answer was 'contact details', I wrote 'contacts'. In this case, I'm wrong? – Choe Feb 4 '17 at 4:09
3

Let's consider one of the definitions of Contact (noun)

an acquaintance, colleague, or relative through whom a person can gain access to information, favors, influential people, and the like.

[Dictionary.com]

So if you lose your phone, you eventually lose all your contacts figuratively since you won't be able to communicate with them.

This seems to be a legitimate usage, possibly doubling as a valid truncation of "Contact Details". Most smartphone device OEMs label the list of the saved phone numbers as "Contacts" as opposed to "Contact Details". Therefore the answer to your question is YES!

  • 1
    To make the point slightly stronger: "your contact details" means the ways people can contact you: I don't think it would ever mean "the details for the people you contact". – Colin Fine Feb 1 '16 at 13:09
  • I took an ielts test. The answer was 'contact details', I wrote 'contacts'. In this case, I'm wrong? – Choe Feb 4 '17 at 4:09
1

Your first use of contacts is wrong. Contact has many meanings. contact does not have a plural in your context, it would be

The more contact the cloth has with the dirty surface, the more spoiled it gets.

When speaking of contacts in plural the word refers either to electrical contacts or to people with whom you have a connection.

Also, the info cards on most phones detailing the contact details are themselves called contacts, thus when you say that you loose your contacts, you are simply expressing that you have lost all the info cards. You might also say that effectively you are saying that you have lost your list of contacts.

  • I took an ielts test. The answer was 'contact details', I wrote 'contacts'. In this case, I'm wrong? – Choe Feb 4 '17 at 4:09
  • @TINGCHOE You do realise that if I'm supposed to agree with you, and tell you that the test was wrong and you were right, I'd need to know the question, not the answer, right? – Born2Smile Feb 6 '17 at 21:39

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