1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,342
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Location:
    England

    Is 'Am' in place of 'I'm' acceptable?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by OurJud, Aug 10, 2016.

    I find it very hard not to use am in a sentence, when strictly speaking it should be I'm.

    Example: 'I'm going to France tomorrow and am determined to have a good time.'

    It usually happens when the 'I'm' is sandwiched between words rather than when at the start of a sentence, and is said more loosely in natural speech, .

    It looks rather stupid when my attention is brought to it, and I'm not sure I've come up with a particularly good example there.

    Maybe it's only be that does it??
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
    Seraph751 likes this.
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    21,204
    Likes Received:
    13,464
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    He is going to France tomorrow and is determined to have a good time.
    They are going to France tomorrow and are determined to have a good time.

    I think it's fine in that it's a mild form of pronoun dropping that's not typical to English, but is permissible under certain circumstance. Notice I dropped the it from the last clause of the prior sentence and it reads just fine. ;) It works in your sentence because the dropped pronoun is close enough to the antecedent and no other people are mentioned (explicitly or in pronoun form) to cause any confusion that what follows the conjunction is a continuation of the same grammatical person.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  3. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,342
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Location:
    England
    I don't understand. Where could an 'it' have gone in either of your examples?
     
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    21,204
    Likes Received:
    13,464
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    No, not from the examples, but from the very content of my post. The prior sentence in question was this one:

    I think it's fine in that it's a mild form of pronoun dropping that's not typical to English, but [it] is permissible under certain circumstance.

    You're not really replacing I'm with am; you're dropping the I from the contracted form of I am, which is fine when it shows up quickly after an initial indication of grammatical person and there's nothing else to complicate the who-does-what of things in the sentence.
     
    OurJud, Simpson17866 and izzybot like this.
  5. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    2,321
    Since you're still talking about yourself, the silent "I" should work.

    EDIT: you may notice that I put the "I" from the quote into parentheses instead of brackets. I did not do that the first time, but it turns out that it was very important :p
     
    OurJud likes this.
  6. Sal Boxford

    Sal Boxford Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    240
    Location:
    UK
    I had no idea this was even a bad thing. I tend to assume if no new name/pronoun has been dropped in, we're still talking about the most recent name/pronoun that was given.

    So, is it okay to drop another element comment to both (clauses? I don't know the technical word) e.g.:
    I am going to France tomorrow and determined to have a good time.

    I'm not sure I'd use this because it sounds awkward, but is it "wrong"? I tend to think of sentences in a mathsy sort of way - i.e. you can pull out common elements to avoid repeating them:
    4x + 4y = 4(x+y)
    I am going to France tomorrow and I am determined to have a good time = I am going to France tomorrow and determined to have a good time.
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,342
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Location:
    England
    It's not the omission of any pronouns I'm questioning, but the very word itself. Am isn't - as far as I'm aware - an official abbreviation or contraction for either I am or I'm. The last two of these are both accepted and correct, whereas I was questioning whether am (in place of I am / I'm) is either.
     
  8. Sal Boxford

    Sal Boxford Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    240
    Location:
    UK
    I don't understand. If you write 'am' where you could have 'I am' you're not abbreviating or contracting anything: you're omitting a pronoun, aren't you? The difference between 'I am'/'I'm' and 'am' is a missing pronoun: 'I'.

    Whatever it is, I think it's fine.
     
    OurJud likes this.
  9. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,342
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Location:
    England
    Well if that's the case, then I've learned something new.

    When I use 'am' in normal speech (which is why I tend to write it) I'm not consciously omitting the 'I' from 'I am'. I'm simply saying 'I'm' in a very lazy manner. I think this is where my confusion comes from, because I suspected I was trying to spell a lazy pronunciation of a word.
     
  10. terobi

    terobi Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    252
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    I don't think it matters either way - it looks like you're dealing with colloquial speech patterns anyway, where frankly you can do whatever you like.
     
    OurJud likes this.
  11. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    Argyll, Scotland
    Or, as they say here in Scotland, 'Ah'm going to France tomorrow and Ah'm determined to have a good time.'

    But that's a whole new can of worms. :D

    'Sally and I are going to France tomorrow and we are determined to have a good time.'
    'Sally and I are going to France tomorrow and we're determined to have a good time.'
    'Sally and I are going to France tomorrow and are determined to have a good time.'

    I feel the first example is more emphatic, the second more informal and the third sloppy but acceptable.

    'Sally and Colin are going to France tomorrow and they are determined to have a good time.'
    'Sally and Colin are going to France tomorrow and they're determined to have a good time.'
    'Sally and Colin are going to France tomorrow and are determined to have a good time.'

    Here the first example, to me, appears loaded with innuendo; the sort of thing a close friend might say with a nudge-nudge, wink-wink.
    The second example is again more informal; perhaps the sort of thing one of their mothers might say.
    The third works fine grammatically; if they were going to a music concert.

    It all depends on context.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  12. Seraph751

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole... Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    434
    Location:
    Texas
    For me, the only time I take the contractions out of my vocabulary is:
    1) When I am angry
    2) Feeling nervous (my speech gets more formal)
    3) On the rare occasions I drink... (When drunk I dislike contractions... lol)

    Ex:
    "Whatever the reason is I'm not interested." She announced disinterestedly.
    "Whatever the reason is I am not interested." She gritted out.

    Hope this helps. :-D
     
    OurJud likes this.
  13. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    2,321
    No it doesn't. Either "not" or "I am not" should've been italicized for emotional emphasis, not just "I am" ;) Oh, that was writer-emphasis and not character-emphasis : )
     
  14. Seraph751

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole... Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    434
    Location:
    Texas
    whoops thanks for catching my mistake :)
     

Share This Page