English grammar has lots of rules (and then there are exceptions to the rules), so it can be a difficult language to work with. And easier sometimes to just throw our hands up in frustration and declare that these little intricacies don’t really matter. But, when it comes to matters of clarity, they can become important. One such instance is the difference between lets and let’s.
Lets vs. Let’s
Lets is a verb meaning “… allow” (“Let”). For example, you might write, “Meditation lets me face my day with a stronger sense of clarity.”
Let’s is the contraction for let us. So, you might say, “Let’s try to meditate every day for a month and check in to see how we’re feeling.”
The Mix Up
Even though the let part of both words means the same thing, we can cause some confusion if we use them interchangeably. “Meditation let’s me face my day with a stronger sense of clarity” means “Meditation let us me face my day…,” which doesn’t make sense. And, “Lets try to meditate every day for a month and check in to see how we’re feeling” doesn’t work either because “Allow try to meditate …” removes the actor (“us”) from the sentence, making it an incomplete idea. Also, it just sounds weird.
Hopefully, now that you’re aware of the difference between lets vs. let’s, you can use these tiny but important words with more confidence. Spelling and grammar checkers can help you catch errors in this and many other cases, but confidence comes from knowing how to build logical sentences.
“Let.” Lexico, Oxford UP, 2020, www.lexico.com/en/definition/let. Accessed 18 May 2020.