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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1,894
    #1

    that's

    Mr. Chen: Jack, come here! You seldom make mistakes on your homework. Why did you make so many mistakes this time?
    Jack: Maybe I was too tired and sleepy.
    Mr. Chen: Why was your handwriting so ugly this time?
    Jack: My handwriting was ugly because I hurt my finger last night.
    Mr. Chen: Really? I don't see anything wrong with your finger.
    Jack: Well...it's fine now.
    Mr. Chen: I don't believe you. You are not telling the truth. I should call your parents.
    Jack: No! Don't call them!
    Mr. Chen: Why not?
    Jack: You can't call them because that's my grandpa's handwriting!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the above dialog, is "that's" a short form of that was?
    Last edited by sitifan; 11-Dec-2008 at 13:16.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: that's

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Mr. Chen: Jack, come here! You seldom make mistakes on your homework. Why did you make so many mistakes this time?
    Jack: Maybe I was too tired and sleepy.
    Mr. Chen: Why was your handwriting so ugly this time?
    Jack: My handwriting was ugly because I hurt my finger last night.
    Mr. Chen: Really? I don't see anything wrong with your finger.
    Jack: Well...it's fine now.
    Mr. Chen: I don't believe you. You are not telling the truth. I should call your parents.
    Jack: No! Don't call them!
    Mr. Chen: Why not?
    Jack: You can't call them because that's my grandpa's handwriting!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the above dialog, is "that's" a short form of that is or that was?
    To my knowledge, the contraction of "that" and "was" is not possible.

    Contractions: EnchantedLearning.com

    However the way "handwriting" can be read in two different ways is still relevant.

    I think it depends on whether you look at the noun "handwriting" as denoting the action (Why don't you try handwriting the letter?) or as being an example of a certain kind of writing (look at the handwriting on this page).

    The first two examples seem to be referring to handwriting as an act.

    Why was your handwriting so ugly this time?


    can be parahprased as: Why, at the time you wrote this, did you perform such terrible handwriting?

    However I would argue that "handwriting" in the sentence

    You can't call them because that's my grandpa's handwriting!


    is being used to refer to a certain kind of writing (something concrete, on the page) and therefore would be expressed using the present tense.

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