The Woodward English website claims that


The contraction of there is is there's.

  • There's a good song on the radio.
  • There's only one chocolate left in the box.

You cannot contract there are.

  • There are nine cats on the roof.
  • There are only five weeks until my birthday.

So, can we not say There're nine cats on the roof?

  • Certainly not in formal writing. – Peter Shor Mar 17 '16 at 2:54
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    Yes, there're (anal retentive) websites that will say that. But if you listen to ten different native English speaking Americans saying "There are nine cats on the roof", nine of the ten will likely say "there're", if you listen carefully. – Hot Licks Mar 17 '16 at 2:58
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    I've read arguments even on this website trying to prove that no one even knows how to pronounce there're; but I've always found those odd, since I say there're every single day. My spellcheck disagrees with me, but it can shove off. – Anonym Mar 17 '16 at 3:07
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    there're rhymes with error and I say it all the time- although I suppose there're times when I wouldn't. – Jim Mar 17 '16 at 4:10

In speech? Sure you can. In writing? No, not normally. It's considered a colloquialism, so don't write it that way unless you really need that particular sound to be in the reader's ear (like with dialog).

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