Here's/Here is....
Thread poster: Nadine Kahn

Nadine Kahn  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
English to German
+ ...
Sep 17, 2007

Hello everybody!

I just noticed this forum:

Is it actually right that it depends on whether it is spoken or written English?

I only know of "Here's to you" as in drinking a toast. I guess it's spread wider than "Here is...", isn't it?

Also, I'm not quite sure if there had been any addition to this sentence or rather saying before which has been omitted over the years.

Do you know more?

Many thanks for answering!


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Use of Here's/Here is Sep 17, 2007

Well, as per usual it all depends...

The example you have quoted

Here's to a happy 200....

is perfectly acceptable.

We wouldn't write down:

Here is to a happy 2008...

Again, if you were translating conversation, it would be:

Janet: Here's the book you asked me for...

John: Thanks very much, Janet!

However, if you were translating something more formal, then sure, use:

Here is...

As far as I am aware there does not exist a strict grammar rule!

No doubt there will be somebody out there who contradicts me!

Liz Askew

[Edited at 2007-09-17 14:25]

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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
German to English
+ ...
agree with liz Sep 17, 2007

IMO and my experience, the contracted form (here's) is commonly used in spoken English and in similarly informal contexts (e.g. personal letters, e-mail messages to people you know) and in any written text that reproduces spoken English. 'Here is' is more formal and is thus used in relatively formal contexts (e.g. legal texts, learned and academic works, dissertations) -- but also in spoken English in formal contexts (such as a speech or presentation) or for special emphasis.

IMO there is no general rule as to whether either form can or cannot be used in written or spoken English, although certain persons and organisations may have their specific rules.

[Edited at 2007-09-17 16:05]

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Veronica Coquard
Local time: 21:59
French to English
Sometimes you can't avoid a contraction Sep 19, 2007

Now, there is a general understanding in business correspondance and other formal uses of written English that contractions are to be avoided. However, I really don't think the case in point (the annual company Christmas card) would need to follow those rules. You want your card to sound professional, but "Here is to you" is stuffy and, yes, incomprehensible. It could even be perceived as trying too hard.

Since you asked, another example would be "o'clock". You wouldn't write "ten of the clock" even in the most formal situation, because the contraction form is the currently acceptable form.

So there is the unspoken "no contraction" rule, but as is often the case for students of the English language, the exception confirms the rule!

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Nadine Kahn  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
English to German
+ ...
Thank y'all Sep 20, 2007

... for your comments on this.

The controversion among native speakers of English was quite amusing in the forum I've linked to, wasn't it? It's indeed a reproduction of spoken English here and I'd also think the contraction is to be avoided in this specific case.

In written business correspondance, I would never use contractions. Anyhow, that's what we've learned.

What I do not know is, if there has been a whole sentence with "here's" or sort of a saying perhaps sometime ago... Is "here's/here is" a short form of a whole sentence?
Especially in "here's to you". I always thought the sentence is not complete.

[Edited at 2007-09-20 19:18]

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