Let’s is the contraction for “let us” (introduces a suggestion or request); whereas lets means to allow or permit (third-person singular — he/she/it lets).
Let’s see some examples:
- Let’s go to the beach.
- My twin sister lets me borrow her clothes.
- Let’s forget this ever happened, okay?
- He lets the rabbit run around the house.
- Let’s go, girls and boys.
- Bart lets his daughter walk to the bus stop on her own.
- Let’s consider all the facts before making a decision.
- The teacher lets his students eat during class.
- Let’s be kind to one another.
- Facebook lets you connect with people around the globe.
- We can forgive, but let’s not forget.
Confusion comes in, I think, with phrasing such as “Let’s you and me get out of here.” since it evolves to “Let us you and me get out of here.” The “you and me” portion can be considered emphasis for specifying who should actually get out of here (if there are more than two people), but overall the wording is a bit of overkill, redundant, a mouthful, and not standard English. You can simply say, “Let’s get out of here.”
Here’s an example of wording that might sound incorrect, but it’s not: Don’t let’s throw away the baby clothes. We can donate them.
- “Let’s” = “let us”.
- “Lets” is a verb.
What grammar topics are you finding challenging lately?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.