Thats or That’s – Which Is Correct? A Comprehensive Guide

Marcus Froland

English can be a tricky beast. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, it throws another curveball your way. Take the simple case of “thats” versus “that’s.” You see them both, scattered across emails, texts, and novels. But one of them holds the secret to sounding like a native speaker, while the other could land you in a grammarian’s doghouse.

Now, we’re not here to give away all the secrets right at the doorstep. But know this: understanding the difference between these two can elevate your English writing from good to great. It’s not just about correctness; it’s about finesse, about nailing down those nuances that make English such a rich language to communicate in. And before we get to which is which, let’s agree on one thing – getting this right could change how others perceive your command of English.

Understanding the difference between that’s and thats is key to writing correctly in English. That’s is a contraction for “that is” or “that has.” For example, you would say, “That’s a beautiful car” or “That’s been my favorite song for years.” On the other hand, thats without an apostrophe does not exist in standard English. It’s a common mistake made when people are typing quickly and miss the apostrophe. Always check to ensure you’re using the contraction correctly to avoid errors in your writing. Remember, if you mean “that is” or “that has,” use that’s. There’s no correct usage for thats.

Understanding the Basics: “That’s” vs. “Thats”

When it comes to using contractions in the English language, it’s essential to understand the basic grammar rules that differentiate the correct usage of “that’s” from the incorrect usage of “thats.” Accurate language comprehension is key to avoiding spelling mistakes and ensuring proper communication.

In essence, “that’s” is a contraction in English, combining the words “that is” or “that has.” The apostrophe substitutes the missing letter or letters. Contractions are commonly used to create more casual, conversational tones in both writing and spoken dialogue. On the other hand, “thats” without the apostrophe is a spelling error and not a valid word within the English language. Let’s explore some examples to better grasp these principles.

Incorrect usage: Thats a great idea!

As seen in this example, “that’s” is the correct contraction for “that is,” while “thats” is a mistake that should be corrected. Misusing contractions can lead to confusion and undermine the intended meaning of a message. To help you identify and avoid these common pitfalls, here are a few instances where people might mistakenly use “thats” instead of “that’s”:

  1. When typing quickly or informally, such as in text messages or online chats.
  2. Due to a lack of understanding of grammatical rules and the proper use of contractions.
  3. In cases where a user is unfamiliar with the English language and may not be aware of the nuances in spelling and punctuation.
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By learning the basic grammar rules surrounding contractions, you can substantially improve your language skills, and effectively communicate your thoughts and ideas. Acknowledge the importance of accurate language use, and consistently strive to avoid spelling mistakes, such as using “thats” when you should use “that’s.” Remember, writing and speaking correctly is crucial for establishing credibility and fostering clear communication in both personal and professional settings.

The Correct Usage of “That’s” in Sentences

Using contractions in English is essential to conveying a natural flow in both written and verbal communication. One such contraction, “that’s,” is scrutinized here for its proper usage and the ways it can replace “that is” and “that has” to expedite or enhance daily English conversations. In this section, we will explore the correct grammar rules surrounding the contraction “that’s,” along with real-life examples that put grammar in context.

“That’s” is a contraction of “that is” and “that has” which can be used to replace the two words in a sentence for brevity and conversational flow.

The Contraction of “That Is”

The first use of “that’s” in sentences is as a contraction for “that is.” In this context, “that’s” can join a noun, pronoun, or a clause. Here are a few examples:

  1. That’s a beautiful painting.
  2. That’s Jenny’s new car.
  3. That’s why I called you earlier.

As illustrated above, “that’s” is a versatile contraction that boosts both brevity and fluency in sentences and casual conversation.

When “That’s” Means “That Has”

A lesser-known aspect of “that’s” is its role as a contraction of “that has.” Employing “that’s” in sentences with the intended meaning of “that has” is both grammatically accurate and useful in conversation. Take a look at the following examples:

  1. That’s always been her favorite song.
  2. That’s just made my day!
  3. That’s given me a new perspective on the situation.

When used correctly, “that’s” not only contracts “that is,” but also “that has,” streamlining and simplifying daily English conversation.

Examples in Everyday Language

In everyday interactions, whether in person, on social media, or via text message, using contractions like “that’s” conveys a sense of informality and approachability. Here are some real-life examples where proper contractions usage can enhance communication efficiency:

  • At work: “That’s the report I’ve been looking for.”
  • At home: “That’s my favorite show.”
  • On social media: “That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the news!”

Remember that using “that’s” as a contraction for “that is” and “that has” can significantly improve the flow of your sentences and better express your thoughts in daily English conversation.

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Misconceptions Leading to the Common “Thats” Error

Many people mistakenly write “thats” instead of the correct “that’s” for several reasons. In this section, we’ll explore some of the common English errors and grammar misconceptions that contribute to this widespread mistake.

Firstly, one of the main factors is the lack of knowledge about the correct spelling of the contraction “that’s.” Many English learners, and even some native speakers, don’t realize that it’s a contraction of “that is” or “that has” and thus requires an apostrophe. They might not have been adequately taught about contractions and their proper punctuation, leading them to write “thats” incorrectly.

Remember: “That’s” is a contraction of “that is” or “that has” and should always include an apostrophe.

Another common reason for the “thats” error is the occasional disregard for grammar rules in informal writing situations. With the rise of online communication and texting, people often take shortcuts, ignore punctuation, or use incorrect grammar to type faster or fit within character limits. This casual approach to communication can lead to the erroneous use of “thats” instead of “that’s.”

  1. Texting: “thats what I was thinking”
  2. Social media: “thats my favorite movie too”
  3. Emails to friends: “I hope thats not a problem”

While these instances may not appear detrimental in informal settings, consistently practicing incorrect grammar can solidify bad writing habits and spill over into more formal contexts where proper grammar is crucial. It’s essential to be aware of these misconceptions and the reasons behind the prevalent “thats” error to help improve your overall English language proficiency.

Why Grammar Matters: The Importance of Using “That’s”

Grammatical accuracy is essential to conveying professionalism, credibility, and clarity in both spoken and written communication. In this section, we’ll delve into the importance of proper grammar usage, specifically the contraction “that’s,” and why it’s crucial in today’s global landscape of professional communication and effective collaboration.

The Impact on Professional Writing

In the world of business and academia, professional communication is the cornerstone for exchanging ideas and information. Whether it’s a formal presentation, an email exchange, or crafting a top-notch article, the correct usage of grammar reflects one’s credibility and expertise in their given field.

“That’s” is more than just a contraction—it’s a symbol of proficiency in the English language and an understanding of the nuances that make communication effective.

Misuse of grammar, such as using “thats” instead of “that’s,” may lead to a negative perception of the writer’s skillset, causing distrust and questioning their competence. Consequently, the importance of proper grammar, especially in professional contexts, should never be underestimated.

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Clarity in Communication

Another critical aspect of clear writing is the prevention of misunderstandings, which arise through the effective use of grammar. Properly conveying thoughts, ideas, and intentions directly impacts how well messages are received and understood.

Consider the following two sentences:

  • John mentioned that he likes the flavor, thats the main reason he prefers this brand.
  • John mentioned that he likes the flavor—that’s the main reason he prefers this brand.

While the first sentence is still comprehensible, the erroneous use of “thats” disrupts the flow of the message and may cause confusion. The second sentence, with correct grammar, crisply conveys the information and showcases the message’s intent.

Ultimately, accurate grammar enhances the clarity of communication—the ability to effectively share ideas, knowledge, and information with others. Mastery of grammar, including the correct use of “that’s,” serves to foster understanding, avoid misinterpretation, and ensure the message is effectively conveyed.

Honda That’s: When “Thats” Isn’t a Mistake

While using “Thats” without the apostrophe is commonly considered a spelling mistake, there’s an exception to this rule when referring to the Honda That’s model. Sometimes, a seemingly incorrect word might actually be a proper noun in English, as in the case of this unique car model from Honda. The That’s is a compact automobile designed and marketed exclusively for the Japanese market, showcasing an entirely different context in which “Thats” is accurate and not incorrect.

Understanding these unusual circumstances highlights the importance of being aware of proper nouns in English to avoid misinterpretations. Identifying legitimate instances where conventional grammar rules are bypassed, such as the name of the Honda That’s, will not only enhance your knowledge of the English language but also improve your overall communication skills.

So, the next time you come across the term “Thats” in the context of automobiles, remember that it could very well be referring to the Honda That’s model – a unique case where “Thats” is indeed the correct spelling. As language learners and speakers, it’s crucial to stay informed about such exceptions, which further emphasize the diverse and evolving nature of the English language.

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