Thursday, 19 September 2013

Contractions in English

our lesson...

Contractions in English

Today, let's talk about "contractions."

contraction is a shortened form of words or phrases.
Contractions are formed by removing one or more letters from a word or words and replacing the letter or letters with an apostrophe.
Contractions allow us to form one short word from two single words.

For example:

  • that + is => that's
  • she + has => she's
  • would + not => wouldn't
  • is + not => isn't
  • we + are => we're
Some contractions have more than one meaning.

For example:



  • she's => she is or she has
  • she'd => she had / she would 
You must use the context and tense of the sentence or paragraph to know the words that make up the contraction.

For example:

Contractions are very popular in the English language, so it is important that you understand them and know how to use them.


Common contractions in the English language

These are just a few common contractions in the English language. This is not a complete list.


Positive contractions

  • I'm => I + am
  • I've => I + have
  • I'll => I + will/shall
  • you're => you + are
  • you've => you + have
  • you'd => you + should/would/had
  • we're => we + are
  • we'll => we + will/shall
  • we'd => we + should/would/had
  • she's => she + is/has
  • she'll => she + will/shall
  • she'd => she + should/would/had
  • he's => he + is/has
  • he'll => he + will/shall
  • he'd => he + had/would
  • they're => they + are
  • they've => they + have
  • they'd => they + should/would/had
  • it's => it + is/has
  • it'll => it + will/shall
  • there's => there + is/has
  • there'd => there + had/would
  • there'll => there + will/shall
  • that's => that + is/has
  • that'd => that + had/would
  • who's => who + is
  • who'll => who + will/shall
  • who'd => who + would
  • where's => where + is
  • when's => when + is
  • what's => what + is/has


Negative contractions

  • wouldn't => would + not
  • couldn't => could + not
  • hasn't => has + not
  • wasn't => was + not
  • weren't => were + not
  • isn't => is + not
  • shouldn't => should + not
  • haven't => have + not
  • didn't => did + not
  • aren't => are + not
  • hadn't => had + not
  • haven't => have + not
  • don't => do + not
  • doesn't => does + not
  • can't => can + not (cannot)


Tips for using contractions in writing

1. Feel free to use contractions in friendly letters and informal writing. Contractions shorten words in English and many people use them in their informal writing. 

2. Limit the use of contractions in formal writing (business letters, essays, reports, speeches, professional e-mails). Use contractions in formal writing only when it would sound stranger to not use them.

3. Use contractions in quoted text if the original quote contains contractions. You should not change the original quote, even if you are are writing a formal essay.

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