I am vs. I'm

Discuss the June 2017 Book of the Month, Superhighway by Alex Fayman. Superhighway is the first book in the Superhighway Trilogy, so feel free to use this forum to discuss not only the first book but also the other books in the series.

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Re: I am vs. I'm

Post by kfwilson6 »

riazziea wrote:
29 Jul 2017, 15:06
I believe that it has to do with how the writer and narrorator are speaking. If the book is in first person and is more towards the conversational side of things, then I'm would seem appropriate. If it's more of a general telling or explanation I am seems to fit. Also when writing dialogue, I'm should be used because that is the normal vernacular and having someone say "I am" would sound strange. It really all depends on the context of the phrases.
Great explanation. I completely agree with this response. I can't say I noticed this issue but when I thought about the way I actually speak I would say "I'm". If you are writing formally, you should not use contractions at all such as in an academic paper. I agree that in the context of this novel, I'm probably was more fitting. I have read some very stilted dialogue and I didn't find it that off putting in this novel. It did sound a bit more formal than how a teenage boy would typically speak.

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Post by jamertin2963 »

This wasn't the only contraction that was mostly avoided in this book, and I think the lack of contractions made the dialogue clunky fairly frequently.

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Post by mamalui »

Since they both have the same meaning I didn't mind much. But I guess one sound casual and the other more official.
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Post by Misael »

I feel that the use of the former looks good when writing a letter and the latter is commonly used in oral communication.

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Post by BriennaiJ »

I'd have to agree. Formal writing would be for a formal paper. However, a book taking place entirely in the first person would simply not have the same amount of formality.

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Post by chupke07 »

I agree and even mentioned it in my review. Some of the conversational language used is too formal and is distracting because he is supposed to be a native English speaker from a city.

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Post by Storm+ »

If this was an academic paper or something, I would prefer the use of "I am" because it seems more professional. However, when a character is speaking in a story, regardless of whether it is to the reader or another character, I believe it's better to use the more conversational "I'm."

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Post by dbulkley »

I don't have a strong opinion about either and not sure hows it's annoying one or another...
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Post by Yerenzhu »

I learned from one of my English professors that if you use contractions people tend not to take your writings seriously. Sure it can vary, but also not using contractions increases your word length by a little bit, so maybe that was his intention? Whenever I read sometimes I like to read "I'm" instead of "I am" but just depends on how it is used.

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Post by sarbearah »

I feel like the author did this because Alex is supposed to be "brilliant", therefore showing this through a more formal narrative tone.

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Post by Naveed726 »

“I’m” is a contraction or short form for I am. It is used in informal style and never in formal style. It is used in Spoken English.
“I am” is the usual form seen in Formal style. We use it in text books,and legal drafts etc.,

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Post by mac83 »

I believe using "I'm" makes the dialogue flow better than "I am". Every time "I am" was used, it just felt stiff to me.
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Post by Popcorn1 »

Whether you use 'I am' or 'I'm' depends on the mood of the conversation or topic.

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Post by Scrawling Pen »

In more casual conversation, I think "I'm" is more common. When the author uses "I am" is breaks up the flow and makes the writing feel forced.

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Post by Atara Miles »

This was something I noticed. I didn't really have a problem with the use of the 'I am' so much as the stiff formality of how the characters were interacting, especially considering their relative youth. When talking to people, I find we generally use the "I am' when we're trying to place importance or emphasis on something versus when we use 'I'm the conversation seems to flow more smoothly.

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