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Calling All Grammar Nazis

I have a grammar question that I can't quite figure out myself. So all of you grammar freaks out there help me out, k?

Here is the situation:

Can the sentence Martha is guilty. be changed to Martha's guilty. contracting the is?

I know if it were a possesive use of the "apostrophe s" then guilty would need to be changed to guilt. Martha's guilt. But in this case it isn't being used as a possesive, it's being used as a contraction.

If it were he is or she is I know it would be right to use he's or she's, but the proper noun is throwing me off.. He and she both have possesive forms that don't use the apostrophe s, but proper nouns use the apostrophe s to show possesion. Is it even kosher to form a contraction with a proper noun?

Can anyone shine some light on this? Because I'm confused!

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Comments (3)

According to my sources: If you're SAYING it, then YES. If you're WRITING it, then NO.

http://www.bewrite.net/community/tips/atg_contractions_proper_nouns.htm

yeah..that sounds right to me too...i'm currently doing a grammar section in english, but we haven't gone over THAT apostrophe rule yet...

ThePapa:

According to: http://www.vnn.vn/vnn4/practice/grammar/
"Contractions (like the Martha example) are very common in spoken English, but they are very uncommon (and generally not appropriate!) in written English."

And according to: http://www.bewrite.net/community/tips/atg_apostrophes.htm
"I like to think of this use of the apostrophe as an aspect of conversational English; however, you could call it slang or colloquial usage too. Writers can use the apostrophe this way in conversation but should avoid it in either formal or narrative writing."

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