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    #1

    let's vs let us

    I once read that 'let's' is a contraction of 'let us'.

    Supposing this assumption is correct, how come that there's a difference between the following sentences:

    Let us go. (= Allow us to go.)

    Let's go. (= Shall we go?; Why don't we go?)

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: let's vs let us

    There are two uses of let
    "Let us go" - a suggestion, usually contracted to "Let's go".
    and
    "Let us go" - a request - this is never contracted.

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    #3

    Re: let's vs let us

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post

    Let us go. (= Allow us to go.)

    Let's go. (= Shall we go?; Why don't we go?)

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****Hello,

    May I add my two bits to the teacher's excellent answer?

    1. "Let us go" is like a demand or order. A bad man has locked you and a friend inside the room. So you yell, "Let us go!"

    The subject of the sentence is "you." In other words, "You let us go!"

    a. This is never contracted.

    2. "Let's go" is a suggestion that you say to yourself and the other person(s).

    a. The subject is "we."

    i. In much older English, we would express this idea something like this:

    "It's very hot today. Go we to the beach."

    b. Usually, we always use the contraction.

    i. But in very formal situations, it sounds more dignified NOT to use the contraction:

    (a) "Let us pray" (instead of "Let's pray").


    *****

    P.S. Yes, I believe that it would be possible to say "It's hot today. Let us go to the beach" instead of "let's go to the beach."

    It depends on how you pronounce "let." If you pronounce it gently, then it is a suggestion. But if you pronounce it very

    strongly, then it is a demand or order. Your mother has just told you and your brother that you two may not go to the

    beach. You yell: "MOTHER! [You] LET us go to the beach!"

    *****

    In order to avoid confusion, many teachers suggest this "rule":

    a. When you want to make a suggestion, almost always use "let's." (Except in super dignified circumstances.)

    b. When you have a demand or order, always use "let us." (That is, you let us.)



    James

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