1

How do I write the contraction of "think would" in say "What do you think'd go best?"? This may be an Australian English thing in that it sounds normal to me, but I can't immediately find this usage on the internet.

2
  • Similarly, believe'd, guess'd, figure'd, spose'd or any other verb you could fit in the frame. Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 2:13
  • In British English I would go further further and contract "do you" as well giving "What d'ye think'd go best?" But perhaps that's just me.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 7:59

2 Answers 2

6

Here's a few examples I think'd support the use of that contraction.

Found in the Corpus of Historical American English

Who do you think'd be postman from Selby here? (Northern Lights; Parker, Gilbert - Canadian Novelist; 1909)

Let's have a look at my forty, Friend Birdwell, and see what stock you think'd do best there. (Friendly Persuasion West; West, Jessamyn - American writer; 1945)

There was a dress on Queen Mary in last Sunday's Ledger that I was sayin' to Amy I thought'd look good on me. (The Show-Off; Kelly, George Edward - American playwright; 1924)

Found in the TV Corpus

How many men were at your party? Too many. How many do you think'd be capable? (Broadchurch - UK TV Series; Episode #3.3; 2017)

He was the last guy on Earth you think'd get shot to death. (Prime Suspect - USA TV Series; Great Guy, Yet: Dead ; 2011)

What do you think'd be best? (Midsomer Murders - UK TV Series; Blue Herrings; 2000)

None of these examples are Australian so it would seem to be acceptable in most of the Anglosphere.

1

This sounds like you want to convey the dialectical speech. My two cents is that when you are writing between quotation marks, you can play around with words AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE, as long as you're willing to accept the consequences of potential confusion.

In a story with characters, dialectical writing is great in my opinion. The reader becomes acquainted with the character(s) and learns that when that character speaks, standard English rules are broken, in the name of attempting to convey the dialect and speech mannerisms in text.

However in a short message or a heading, "think'd" would cause confusion. Regardless I believe that's exactly how that should be written to represent how people actually speak, if that's your intent.

3
  • 1
    I don't have enough karma to upvote you, but thanks for your answer.
    – wheeler
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 8:28
  • 1
    '[Y]ou can play around with words AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE, as long as you're willing to accept the consequences of potential confusion' violates Grice's maxim of manner, 'where one ... avoids obscurity and ambiguity', quotes or no. If the resulting string is beyond the pale, a translation is needed. Obviously, people can write what they will in a free country, but ELU deals with standard usages. Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 11:51
  • @wheeler appreciate
    – Wiser2k1
    Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 23:47

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