What are appropriate contractions for "you would"?
July 19, 2005 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Are either or both of "you'd" / "you'ld" correct contractions for "you would"? Specifically asking about American usage, but any English language information would be appreciated.
posted by true to Writing & Language (22 answers total)
 
I've never seen you'ld. I speak American English.
posted by jessamyn at 8:34 PM on July 19, 2005


I've also never seen/heard "you'ld". I'm also from the US (West Coast).
posted by luneray at 8:35 PM on July 19, 2005


I've never seen you'ld either. In fact, I'm not even sure how I'd pronounce it.
posted by sbutler at 8:36 PM on July 19, 2005


I've never seen "you'ld." I've seen and used "you'd" my whole life. I am a grammar/spelling stickler (native American English speaker). But I might be wrong.

On preview: Yay, I'm not alone.
posted by librarina at 8:37 PM on July 19, 2005


"You'd" is fine. I have never seen "you'ld", ever. (American English, East Coast, chiefly the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic areas.)
posted by Vidiot at 8:41 PM on July 19, 2005


Also, in cases like this where it helps to know the common usage, I google.

you'd has about 55,900,000 hits.
you'ld has 33,400, which is actually more than I expected.
posted by librarina at 8:41 PM on July 19, 2005


It looks kinda nice, but this Irish gal has never seen you'ld either.
posted by jamesonandwater at 8:50 PM on July 19, 2005


The initial exit polls seem to show a landslide for you'd. My wife would like you all to know that she is right and I am wrong on this subject. I have mentioned that this isn't exactly what a followup should be used for, but she does not care. Therefore, I was wrong. I hold out hope that "you'ld" is some sort of urbane British spelling and I can at least take comfort in that.
posted by true at 8:52 PM on July 19, 2005


Considering that most of us do not pronouce the 'l' in 'would,' 'you'ld' seems very strange. For me, 'wood' and 'would' are pronounced identically, so I've only ever seen 'you'd'. (Well, until now...)

(note: Canadian English)
posted by heatherann at 8:52 PM on July 19, 2005


The OED cites several examples as 'ld as a contraction for would, all dating before 1700. As far as current usage goes, the dictionary specifically indicates that such a spelling is obsolete.
posted by 5500 at 9:08 PM on July 19, 2005


Never seen "you'ld" in Australia.
posted by flabdablet at 9:14 PM on July 19, 2005


no you'ld in Canada either
posted by seawallrunner at 9:21 PM on July 19, 2005


"you'd", never "you'ld"
posted by bshort at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2005


Hang on a minute! You'd better look harder.
Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale Act II, Scene I
Hark ye;
The queen your mother rounds apace: we shall
Present our services to a fine new prince
One of these days; and then you'ld wanton with us,
If we would have you.

And many [search for "you'ld" in full text area] others. true you are in illustrious company. Resurrect the you'ld.
posted by tellurian at 9:55 PM on July 19, 2005


I've never seen you'ld, but it makes sense. It explicitly differentiates between you'd as in "you would" and you'd as in "you had."
posted by ludwig_van at 10:41 PM on July 19, 2005


Tellurian: Shakespear made plenty of stuff up, and often changed words for meter.
You'ld is totally made up, especially with regard to contemporary English.
But hey, I once thought that it was "acrossed the street" and had to be peevishly proved wrong with a dictionary. Damn my Indiana parent and her vocal tics!
posted by klangklangston at 11:13 PM on July 19, 2005


Shakespear made up you'ld?
Figures.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:31 PM on July 19, 2005


For fun: words coined by Shakespeare (in current usage).

Nope, "you'ld" doesn't make the list. ;)
posted by scody at 12:04 AM on July 20, 2005


I've seen 'you'ld' in older English (would reckon pre-19th century) but would never use it myself and have not seen it in contemporary writing. Brit here.

I don't think this is a pronunciation question; I'd imagine both are said in exactly the same way.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:12 AM on July 20, 2005


I'm not quite sure why you'd go to AskMeFi instead of a dictionary, but yes, it's you'd. Shakespeare is completely irrelevant to a question about 21st-century American usage (and I should point out that there was no such thing as "correct spelling' in his day), but since we're on the subject, that link in Scody's comment is worthless. Not only are they talking about words that are first attested in Shakespeare, not words he "made up," but they don't even get that right. For instance, here are the first few OED citations for ode:

1538 T. ELYOT Dict. s.v., Ode, a songe. 1579 SPENSER Shepheardes Cal. Dec. f. 51v, Horace of his Odes a work though ful indede of great wit & learning, yet of no so great weight and importaunce boldly sayth, [etc.]. 1589 G. PUTTENHAM Arte Eng. Poesie I. xxx. 47 Out of the primitiue Greeke & Latine, as Comedie, Tragedie, Ode, Epitaphe, Elegie, Epigramme, and other moe. 1598 SHAKESPEARE L.L.L. IV. iii. 97 Once more Ile reade the Odo [1623 Ode] that I haue writ.

Shakespeare did make up a few words, mostly fairly grandiloquent, but you can take it as a given that he didn't make up ordinary words like bet.
posted by languagehat at 5:41 AM on July 20, 2005


I hold out hope that "you'ld" is some sort of urbane British spelling and I can at least take comfort in that.

Sorry, never seen or heard you'ld in British English either.
posted by penguin pie at 8:47 AM on July 20, 2005


I've never seen you'ld, but it makes sense. It explicitly differentiates between you'd as in "you would" and you'd as in "you had."

But doesn't the context always differentiate between the two?

"You would" takes a present tense verb.

"You had" takes a past tense verb, or, colloquially, a "better" before the verb ("You'd better do it"). It's interesting that we never use "you'd" for "You had to do it."

Can you think of any ambiguous cases?
posted by nobody at 8:40 AM on July 22, 2005


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