1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Am for I’m?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by OurJud, Dec 2, 2021.

    I’ve just submitted the following post on a snooker forum I frequent:
    Have I used ‘am’ correctly here, or should it have been ‘I’m’.

    I feel like it’s one of those ‘common errors’, like using ‘of’ when it should be ‘have’ (I could of won that game of chess if I didn’t have a headache).

    And what does ‘am’ mean anyway??
     
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  2. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Senior Member

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    Ante meridiem, which in this case means you were mildly amused by sarcasm in the morning, but by midafternoon, would forget it all in favor of listening to the BBC.
     
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  3. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Definitely a hominid

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    Good question.
    "(I) am" is the first person singular of "to be".

    In German we say "ich bin". And "bin" is the first person singular of "sein".

    Go figure.
     
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  4. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    It's grammatically okay. It's just a compound predicate.

    I think I see what you're worried about. What makes it seem slightly odd is that its parts are not in perfect balance. The first part's active [I agree], and the second is stative [ (I) am mildly amused]. That makes it feel off-kilter, but it's not wrong. It's just an unbalanced effect. If you wanted it to hold tighter, both verbs should be active or both stative.

    (Maybe "hold tighter" is the wrong description. Leaving out a word is what makes the sentence hold tighter. It's like the vacuum of the missing word pulls the pieces around it snug. When they match, they have a formality though, as if all rules have been followed. It gives the line legitimacy. That's probably what I should have said.)

    You get all kinds of elisions with compound/complex sentences. Some of them have specific names, but let's not pretend that those matter. This is my favorite:

    My sister likes pepperoni, my brother anchovies. (mesozeugma!)​

    And then when you look at its parts you always do a double-take, but it's fine. (The above is more or less a compound sentence. Almost . . . the conjunction is elided along with the verb.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
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  5. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

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    I'm is just the contraction of 'I am' so unless I'm missing something, they both are correct here. 'I am' is parallel (not sure if that's the right term) with 'I agree' so that's what I would use, but I think it's just a matter of preference and whether it's dialogue or a written correspondence.
     
  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    You're fine, because you said I agree and am...

    Technically it's an abbreviated way of saying I agree, and I am... but there's no need to repeat the I. Just like if you say I see your twenty dollars and raise you ten. You could say I see your twenty dollars and I raise you ten, but it's too much repetition and we're used to it being said the other way.
     
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Unless you're (you are) Popeye, in which case, the correct form is "I yam".
     
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  8. evild4ve

    evild4ve Active Member

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    "I agree and am" is fine

    I think this construction was common in Victorian letter sign-offs when "yours sincerely" was still the ending of the last sentence in the letter.
    E.g. "I love you and am... yours sincerely, Fred Bloggs"

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/am#Verb
     
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  9. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I agree, and am what I yam.
     
  10. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I’m referring to my use of ‘am’ not ‘I’m’.
     
  11. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    But I submitted the post in the afternoon.
     
  12. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    According to further investigation, ‘am’ is
    1. First-person singular simple present indicative form of be
    Am none the wiser.
     
  13. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    Well I am currently in Yorkshire, and 'am is a cooked, salted cut of pork

    little known fact that it was first described by Rene Descarte - famously misquoted as "I think therefore I am" -- je pense, donc je suis (cogito ergo sum), the original was actually je suis rose, donc je suis jambon - I'm pink therefore I'm 'am! Proper Yorkshire was our Rene.
     
  14. MartinM

    MartinM Member

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    @OurJud

    I love this type of thing. The forum as given some beautiful replies to the ‘am’ and ‘I’m’ problem.

    I’ve nothing technical to add, but would ask what impression did you want to leave on that reader? I ask this as your chess example is not the same as your statement in balance. I believe you wanted to give that reader a back handed slap of a compliment?

    The opening is too strong ‘I’m torn!’ a statement. It contradicts ‘mildly amused’. I’m probably wrong here but interested in your thoughts...

    MartinM
     
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  15. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Let me try and give some more context. A member of this snooker forum had sarcastically criticised the BBC’s coverage of the sport, and I replied with the statement you see in my first post here.

    “I’m torn” was used because I had two conflicting opinions about his comment. On the one hand I felt I needed to defend the BBC’s snooker coverage, while simultaneously and begrudgingly accepting he probably had a valid point.

    The chess example is irrelevant, as this was an example to show how ‘of’ is sometimes incorrectly used instead of ‘have’.
     
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  16. MartinM

    MartinM Member

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    @OurJud

    I’m literally trying to write or think of a more cutting reply lol. I absolutely understand your position. The statement is clever, but not quite sharp enough if that makes sense? The torn bit, gives you the conflict but is a strong or dynamic word. This against or offset by mildly amused which is not. However, mildly amused is the right wording for a back handed slap...

    Something is definitely there, and am sure I’ll be thinking on it way too much over the weekend!

    MartinM
     
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  17. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    :D I think you’re definitely seeing too much in this. It’s not a piece of creative writing I was hoping to get critiqued. It’s just that I’ve always wondered about the use of ‘am’. I find myself writing it naturally, but then always stop and wonder about its meaning etc. I think some of that confusion comes from a lazy pronunciation of ‘I’m’. Where I come from, we wouldn’t say “I’m cold. Could you turn the heating up?” We’d say “Am freezin’. Turn the eatin up.”
     
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  18. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Senior Member

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    I thought you might be speaking American Southern with an English spelling: Ah'm freezin'.
     
  19. MartinM

    MartinM Member

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    definitely, just having a bit of fun

    M.
     
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  20. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    You’re mistaking me for Forest Gump.
     
  21. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Senior Member

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    Nah, Forest would never use an avatar with such a rude gesture. ;)
     
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  22. MartinM

    MartinM Member

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    Kez is a brilliant film @Catriona Grace
     
  23. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Senior Member

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    Kez? Did I miss something?
     
  24. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

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    Probably a lot missed this. It's a movie called Kes from 1969. Never heard of it.
     
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  25. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    And I wouldn’t want it any other way :)

    @Catriona Grace, my avatar is the main character from the film.
     
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