0

Which is the correct form of these:

  1. It’s secure
  2. It is secure

My question: which is the correct form?

For examples, is this sentence ok?

XY says it’s secure.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jul 28 '14 at 9:04

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

3

"It's" is a contraction of "it is" and all three of your sentences are complete and grammatical.

There are some differences when it comes to usage

In most cases, it's just common to use it's. In my opinion it's even more awkward in most cases to use it is. For example, basic uses like

It's not compiling.

It's hot outside.

you'd almost always see using the contraction. Without, those sentences might sound pedantic.

In some cases, though, it's the other way around and it's would sound awkward. When contradicting someone, one may say it is with an emphasis on is. Also, in general, saying both words rather than a contraction is more emphatic, and can be used to place call more attention to the point you're making.

Is it not raining yet?

It is raining, and thundering too.

Also, when saying yes it is:

It's not at all late, and I shouldn't go to sleep.

Yes it is, George. You should definitely go to sleep, rather than write answers for questions which may be moved or deleted.

In these last two cases, I'd find it strange to see it's used instead.

Regarding the sentence you suggested, I'd almost always say "it's secure." With the exception being: if I am asked by someone "is it secure?" and I want to go above and beyond replying "yes" to indicate how utterly sure I am that it's secure, I'd go with the more emphatic "it is secure."

There are, also, cases in which it may be considered more formal to use it is. Perhaps in technical or legal writings. I haven't seen anything like this recently though, and likely nobody will claim it's improper or informal, or take offense to the use of it's. It's just more common.

I'm sure in the past and future, this was all and will all be very different.

Check out this list of other contractions in our fun language. But maybe ask on the ELL site if you have questions about those, as I'm sure some people on here may disapprove of this question and answer.

0

Both are grammatically correct and mean the same thing. The former is slightly less formal (but neither is particularly formal).

(The sister site ELL might be more appropriate for getting answers to questions like this one.)

  • I'm not convinced that this has anything to do with formality. Why do you say this? – George Capote Jul 28 '14 at 4:20
  • @GeorgeCapote: Fine; that's why I said that neither is particularly formal. (And neither is particularly familiar.) What term would you use to characterize the difference here? In a very formal document I would be less inclined to use it's and other contractions all over the place, but that's not a requirement. Certainly the two are not identical (they are different terms, so have at least somewhat different connotations). The question was about the difference between the two. My answer tried to address that by going beyond the similarity that both are correct and denote the same thing. – Drew Jul 28 '14 at 4:40
  • Hmm. You're right that there is something different between them, but rather than formality, I'd go with situations in which they're used. I wrote up my more complete opinion in my answer. – George Capote Jul 28 '14 at 5:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.