Contraction - why is it's incorrect?

1

I'm trying to work out why it's incorrect to use it's in the following sentence:

 

My opinion would be that gun control can’t get worse than what it's now.

Would you agree that it's cannot be used in this way, and if so could you explain why?

contractions asked Jan 31 at 16:40 Julia Day New member

It just sounds odd there. It should be can't get any worse than what it is now. I think that's because you need to emphasis the word "is"It would be more clear to say "can't get any worse than it currently is."

TwilaJan 31 at 20:34

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2 answers


1

Although I have stopped posting on this forum owing to trolls, I very much enjoyed this question.

 

I will answer with my own knowledge and inferencing and without any grammatical reasoning except my not so inconsiderable experience.

 

We use the contraction "It's" when it is followed by either a predicate nominative or a predicate adjective:

"It's blue." (blue = predicate adjective)

"It's true." (true = predicate adjective)

"It's that man." (that man = predicate nominative)

"It's a cowardly act." (cowardly act = predicate nominative)

 

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In your sentence:

"...than it is now."

"now" is not a subject complement (it is neither a predicate adjective nor a predicate nominative)

 

To prove it, you can have a complete sentence without "now":

My opinion would be that gun control can’t get worse than what it is.

 

In fact, "now" is neither an adjective nor a noun and thus it cannot take the function of a predicate adjective or a predicate nominative:

 

Dictionary.com:
now
[nou]
adverb
1.
at the present time or moment: You are now using a dictionary.

 

Summation:

Since there is no predicate adjective or predicate nominative following "it is", you cannot use the contraction "it's".

 

Note: If you want to argue with me--you are most likely wrong.

link edited Feb 01 at 01:12 Aaron Prejean Expert

Dictionary.com:

Noun10.the present time or moment: Up to now no one has volunteered.

Patty TFeb 01 at 02:50

Wait, are you honestly trying to say that it is a noun functioning as a predicate nominative? Now is nominative to the pronoun "it"? I think you know you are wrong on this one.

Aaron PrejeanFeb 01 at 19:08

3 thumbs up and 2 thumbs down. I love this trolley place. It is a shame; I really did enjoy this question. I see you have two thumbs down as well. Gonna thumb you up since you are still trying. + Patty

Aaron PrejeanFeb 01 at 19:15

I wasn't honestly trying to say much at all, Aaron. You noted that "now" is not a noun (or an adjective) and quoted dictionary.com as evidence of that point. Dictionary.com also defines "now" as a noun (and an adjective). I thought that perhaps a reader might be confused by your statement, and you might take the opportunity to explain why the noun definition of "now" does not apply here.

Patty TFeb 02 at 05:55

That is fair if that is what you meant. But as you said before, I don't have to assume everyone is an idiot. I stated that it was not a predicate adjective or noun then gave (correctly) the dictionary part of speech for the current usage (adverb). I apologize if my answer was unclear. You are quite right; I hate it when a teacher confuses his or her students.

Aaron PrejeanFeb 02 at 16:25

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-1

When you are writing formally, you should avoid using contractions. If that is the case, then both contractions should be spelled out instead.  Even informally, though, I would not use a contraction for it is in this sentence.  My reason: the present situation is an emphasis of the context.  When you make IS part of a contraction it loses some of that emphasis. 

 

Here's another question about your sentence.  What is the condition that would make your opinion be as stated?  If you are trying to say that this is your opinion, then state, "My opinion is."  When it is not a conditional, we sometimes use "would" to soften a request.  When used with a statement, it makes you appear less than convinced about your own opinion. 

link comment answered Jan 31 at 19:27 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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