Contraction - why is it's incorrect?
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?
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)
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:
at the present time or moment: You are now using a dictionary.
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 '14 at 01:12 Aaron Prejean Expert|
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 '14 at 19:27 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
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