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I presume j'suis is slang for je suis.

That much for the lexical formation of this "expression," which has been detailed elsewhere.

However, I don't know the contexts in which it can be used. Is it considered an offensive way of speaking, a derogatory way of speaking, or a perfectly harmless way of speaking between friends and family?

Can children tell their mothers, in a spoilt brat manner, J'suis?

So what I'd actually want to know is a few details about its usage in the language nowadays.

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I would say it is perfectly harmless in any context but the most formal. And even in the most formal setting, I can hardly see it to be of any consequence. I would even go further and say it is systematically used by everyone who does not pay a particular attention to eloquence. In every day conversation, not using it makes you stand out.

It is, however, completely different if you intend to transcribe a conversation. Then it might come out a bit childish or disrespectful.

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Having lived in various regions of Eastern Canada where the Shiac and Acadian varieties of French are spoken, it is also common for 'j'suis' to be abbreviated even further to the point where it almost sounds just like 'suis'. Although this can be a mix between people just saying 'suis' and people just really touching the 'j' sound so lightly that it sounds like 'suis'. I have less experience with the Quebec dialect but I believe this happens there too. Perhaps someone with experience with the Quebec dialect could confirm this. –  Patrick Sebastien Jul 26 '13 at 14:40
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J'suis actually stands for je suis. This is an informal elision.

This is spoken language, so you will normally not be led to read/write this, but in certain songs or dialogues. And this is not offensive at all, this is only je suis badly/quickly pronounced. J'suis sounds a bit like "chui" and this is why you sometimes read chui on internet forums or SMS.

So can children tell their mother j'suis? As this is a matter of prononciation, actually, they do, and this is accepted or not:

— Franck, où es-tu ?
— J'suis là, Maman !
— Et bien viens vite à table, c'est prêt !

or

— Franck, où es-tu ?
— J'suis là, Maman !
— On dit Je suis mon chéri ! Faudra-t-il que je te le répète chaque jour ?

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