There’s a fine line between being helpful and being a pedant. You can decide which side of that line I fall at the end of this blog! But I have to share my latest grammatical bugbear with you:
Before you make up your mind about me, hear me out…
Here’s looks innocuous enough. It’s a contraction of here is. Simple enough.
Here (in this instance) is an adverb, followed by is, part of the verb ‘to be’ (I am, he/she/it is, we/you/they are).
Here’s or Here are?
As you’ll remember from school, the subject and verb in a sentence should always agree.
Here’s (adverb + verb) the book (subject).
So, you should use Here’s to introduce one thing, and Here are to introduce more than one.
Here ARE a few examples:
Here’s the folder you asked for.
Here’s my favourite copywriting tip.
Here is an article you might enjoy.
Make the nouns plural and you get:
Here are the folders you asked for.
Here are my favourite copywriting tips.
Here are some articles you might enjoy.
Here’s a book is correct. Here’s two books is not. It’s the same as saying Here are my brother.
But many people (copywriters and marketers included) use Here’s all the time and it annoys me every time I see it.
I’m all for breaking the rules if it makes your writing sound better – style beats rules every time – so you could argue that using Here’s is a stylistic choice but so many people use it that to my ears it just sounds like people have got it wrong.
It’s quite possible that you’ve decided I’m pedantic by this point and don’t want to read on. But if you want to get it right there are
two three easy ways to check whether you should use here’s or here are:
- Single or plural: Is there one or more of what you’re talking about?
Single subject – use Here’s. E.g. Here’s the book.
Plural subject – use Here are. E.g. Here are the books.
- Listen: Read your sentence out loud (and remove the contraction if it helps).
E.g. Here’s the books becomes Here is the books, which you can hear should be Here are the books.
- The long-winded way: If that still sounds confusing, try doing it the long way and rewrite the sentence to work out which one is right.
E.g. Here’s the biscuits sounds OK-ish. But rewrite it and you get The biscuits is here, which hopefully sounds weird. Instead, you’d say The biscuits are here, which becomes Here are the biscuits.
You may have a point. Lots of people don’t care. But some people do.
Some people spot grammatical errors and make judgements about your company or professionalism based on them. So I think it’s worth knowing the rules before you decide to break them.
Over to you. What do you think?