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Is it acceptable to omit “I” when it’s the subject?

I'm chatting with my friend, and I want to say to him that I want to go to shower and I'll be back soon.

What is correct:

I'm going to shower. Will be back soon.


I'm going to shower. I will be back soon.

or other variant?

marked as duplicate by MetaEd, RegDwigнt Oct 19 '12 at 11:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Incidentally, it's always a good practice to wait a couple of days before marking an 'accepted answer', so as to give enough exposure to the post among members, because not everyone keeps track of new questions in real time. – Kris Oct 19 '12 at 5:37
  • Of course, Kris, I know since I'm answering to questions at the StackOverflow. But I'm fully satisfied with JAM's answer and it's a reason why I marked it. – Evgeniy Naydenov Oct 19 '12 at 8:06

If you're chatting, as Bill Franke said, it's whether you're understood that matters. Both of your suggestions work. The second one is grammatically correct.

Even less formal but quite colloquial, and what I'd probably say when chatting: "Going to shower. Back soon."

  • 3
    +1 Quite so. I'd probably say: "Gonna shower. Back soon." – user21497 Oct 19 '12 at 3:10

When you're chatting with a friend, what's understandable is what is "correct". The English we use when we chat is different from the English we use when we write formal essays or letters. Just as newspaper headline English and telegram English are different from formal written prose. When you chat in Russian, do you always make certain that your language is formally correct?

  • When I'm chatting in Russian I'm trying to write correctly anyway. :) So which variant is correct and understandable? – Evgeniy Naydenov Oct 19 '12 at 2:48
  • You're welcome. No problem. JAM's answer is excellent. :-) – user21497 Oct 19 '12 at 3:26

This is fine in an informal context. In fact:

Going to shower. Back soon!

would be fine.

In informal English, we often delete the first word(s) from a sentence if they can inferred from context.

  • -1 Not the first word, not necessarily or always the first word. – Kris Oct 20 '12 at 7:56
  • @Kris: If I understand you correctly, you are downvoting me because I haven't defined the rules for dropping words in informal English grammar with sufficient precision. Well, you try it! – Pitarou Oct 20 '12 at 8:09
  • I have stated in the comment, which I thought would be helpful. 1. It's not the first word but the pronoun that's dropped and 2. The pronoun could occur anywhere. cf. My answer. – Kris Oct 20 '12 at 8:12


The reader as well as grammar will understand and accept the second sentence as valid and making sense. This is fine in formal writing, not just chatting.

You really do not always have to write " I thank you."

[EDIT] [Pro-drop]1 (Wikipedia)

English is considered a non-pro-drop language. Nonetheless, subject pronouns are almost always dropped in commands (e.g., Come here); and in informal speech, pronouns and other words, especially copulas and auxiliaries, may sometimes be dropped, especially from the beginnings of sentences:

  • [Have] you ever been there? or [Have you] ever been there?
  • [I'm] going to the shops. [[Do] you] want to come [with [me]]?
  • Seen on signs: [I am/We are] out to lunch; [I/we will be] back at 1:00 [P.M.]
  • What do you think [of it]? – I like [it]! (only in some dialects)

Relative pronouns are often dropped from restrictive clauses:

  • The person [whom] I saw was older.

In speech, when pronouns are not completely dropped, they are more often elided than other words in an utterance.

  • Down voters, think again. – Kris Oct 20 '12 at 7:55
  • -1: You've conflated multiple phenomena and called them all elisions. There isn't space to go into all the fallacies in your answer, so I'll just highlight one. If you claim that "P.M." has been elided, then you might as well go the whole hog and claim that "1:00" is an abbreviation for "at least one hour but less then one hour and one minute post meridian on Saturday, the 20th day of October, in the two-thousand-and-twelfth year of our Lord Jesus Christ, as measured at ..." etc. This is technically true, but of no interest or value to someone trying to make sense of English. – Pitarou Oct 20 '12 at 8:30
  • @Pitarou Not "I", :) -- note that it is a citation from Wikipedia -- read only what is relevant to the question at hand. – Kris Oct 20 '12 at 8:33
  • @Pitarou And do not down vote when you are not clear. – Kris Oct 20 '12 at 8:35
  • That's an article about pro-drop languages, not English. It makes the interesting point that, if you squint at them right, a number of phenomena in English superficially resemble pronoun dropping. But, as I explained, you really do have to strain your linguistic credibility to the limit to accept that point. That's why English is not considered a pro-drop language. – Pitarou Oct 20 '12 at 8:43

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