lets vs let's

I’ve noticed that quite a few native speakers write “lets” when they mean “let’s” in forum discussions. Is this due to sloppiness or are they not aware of the difference between “lets” and “let’s”?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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I don’t know which of the ‘quite a few native speakers’ you’re referring to, Tortsten, but the difference is clear to me. :wink:

Though not the same, maybe the use of apostrophe is declining over all:

Interesting to note also, from the same book, that in 1835, William Cobbet (A Grammar of the English Language.) said that the apostrophe of contraction was not “a mark of ellison but of laziness and vulgarity”.


Times and language preferences, change.

All languages are bound to change. We just have to accept the fact and come to terms with it. There’s no use being captious and denying the change outright.

This is probably the same feeling that some people might have had in the past when they realized that ‘Did you eat yet?’ started becoming popular. Some of them might have denounced it, but couldn’t probably post it to a forum like this, and disdained people who used it. But now, such a usage is as natural as it gets (in the US, at least).

This might also be the same kind of feeling that some Latin scholars had when Bible was translated into English.

The SMS lingo would probably become the standard language in the future, not far from now. Dictionaries would probably call ‘you’ an archaic term for ‘u’.

Hi Daemon,

Writing “lets” instead of “let’s” or “wont” instead of "won’t, “u” instead of “you” aren’t examples of innovation but of sloppiness or laziness. None of these chatroom language errors will enter the dictionaries or become standard forms.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Let’s not forget this is a forum that lets non-native speakers’ mistakes be eliminated.


I can’t understand why you rant on so much about other people’s mistakes, laziness, etc., Torsten. I’ve noticed, and pointed out, quite a few errors in your posts, but never seem you go back and edit them?

Hi Torsten,

And what exactly would you call using ‘color’ instead of ‘colour’? Why did it find its way into almost all the standard dictionaries?

What you call sloppiness or laziness might be convenience and ease of use for others. I know it’s hard to accept, but lets see if these words will become standard forms or not.

I’ve seen Torsten-type people say that the English dialect forms below “aren’t examples of innovation but of sloppiness or laziness”:

He teached history at university.
He seed him in the market yesterday.
We buyed a new car last week.

But… the regularising of irregular verbs is common, and somewhat logical, for many dialect speakers.

Frankly speaking, I had a hard time figuring what “seed” meant in the above sentence :slight_smile: . Tampering with English in this way is not welcomed, at least by me, because it puts up barriers on the way of the reader. (well, and if you start saying “siid” in leu of “sow”, it would make it even harder for the listener to grasp the sense).
All in all, I don’t understand why on eath it is so hard for some people to pound into their heads some 200 irregular verbs. Instead they start inventing dialects, just to wriggle out of learning proper English :wink:

Not so for those who use it? I had a hard time figuring out what “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” meant till I had dinner with a bunch of lexicographers. :lol:

Yeah, some even learned/t a dialect called Standard English just to be different. :stuck_out_tongue:

So, I guess you think we should all still be using “holp” and “holpen”, right?

Well, I wouldn’t be against the idea. I hate it when things are too simple. Where’s the challenge ? :wink:

In learning phrasal verbs, modal auxiliary use, etc. :wink:

Actually, we aren’t angels;evrybody makes mistakes ,but to insist on doing that is sloppiness or laziness. I agree with Torsten.If such sloppiness come from native speakers, who is the genuine reference to back to?

let’s = let us
lets = third-person singular form of “to let”

apostrophes are used for good reason – they’re used so that readers know the difference between a possessive and a non-possessive, a simple plural word and a possessive, etc.

I dare us to drop the apostrophe – then try understanding your students’ term papers.

of course, there are times when it’s employed improperly:

“The Henderson’s are coming home.”

–> Since “Henderson” is the name of one person in this clan, logically we would refer to more than one of that clan as “Herdersons”.

“If you watch the video closely, you see how the dog let’s the possum go.”

–>Let’s = let us

“Your going to give me herpes, you slob!”

–> Your = possessive pronoun ; You’re = you are


I say we revere the rules of the apostrophe and keep them holy… lest we make it more difficult to understand the written word. Let’s respect the ap’st’phe!

i’m seeing a lot of this again (unbelievably) – not in here, but at work:

“Customer wants to disconnect it’s service”

“Its Friday – welcome to employee appreciation day!”

makes me sick

Are you aware of the word “dialect”, Sultano?

Would you say there’s a lot of sloppiness in this piece of text?

Believe me, even Torsten writes in a sloppy way at times. And, when you point it out to him, he doesn’t go back and edit his posts. Would you consider that a lazy act?

yeah, we can be informal in here – no big deal to me. heck, I write things like “gonna” and probably make all sorts of typos when I post in here.

We should all try to be good and proper in the context of formal writing though (imo).

gonna and wanna are fine, so long as everyone understands them (and I’m sure everyone really does), and I think that legitimating them in English grammar is in order.
What’s more important is the articles :slight_smile:
Please, don’t leave them out in haste, we need them :lol:

Hi Tom,

That’s exactly what I meant when I started this thread. I’m sure most native speakers can tell the difference between let’s and lets and it’s and its. Distinguishing between those words can be confusing to learners of English so why make it harder for them here on the forum? I’ve noticed that English native speakers living in Germany seem to have a hard time using the apostrophe and I think the reason for that is the German keyboard which requires you to press a rather awkward key combination. If you type a text in English you need the apostrophe much more often than in German. So typing an English text with a German keyboard is more difficult than with an English keyboard.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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