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Contractions

A contraction is a shortened version of two words. For example, "He is" can be shortened to "He's".

Use an apostrophe (‘) to connect the two words.

We cover all of the contractions in detail in the verb tense lessons.

Here is a list of all the contractions that we need to know.

1. Contractions with Be Verbs

Pronoun + be verbContraction
I amI'm
You areYou're
We areWe're
It isIt's
He isHe's
She isShe's
They areThey're
That isThat's
There isThere's
Here isHere's

2. Contractions with Question Words and Be Verbs

Question Word + be verbContraction
What isWhat's
Who isWho's
Where isWhere's
How isHow's

3. Contractions with Will and Pronouns/Question Words

Pronoun + willContractions
I willI'll
You willYou'll
We willWe'll
He willHe'll
She willShe'll
They willThey'll
There willThere'll

4. Contractions with Would or Had and Pronouns

Pronoun + wouldContractions
I would / I hadI'd
You would / You hadYou'd
We would / We hadWe'd
He would / He hadHe'd
She would / She hadShe'd
They would / They hadThey'd

Note: The contraction ‘d is used for both "had" or "would". If we look at the rest of sentence then we can tell which word is being used.
  • I'd never been to China before last year. (=I had)
  • She'd come if she could. (=She would)
5. Contractions with Have/Has and Pronouns

Pronoun + have/hasContractions
I haveI've
You haveYou've
We haveWe've
He hasHe's
She hasShe's
They haveThey've

6. There is a special contraction that is used a lot. "Let us" changes to "Let's".

7. Negative Contractions

There are many negative contractions and these are used a lot.

Long FormContraction
is notisn't
are notaren't
was notwasn't
were notweren't
do notdon't
does notdoesn't
did notdidn't
cannotcan't
will notwon't
could notcouldn't
would notwouldn't
should notshouldn't
have nothaven't
has nothasn't
had nothadn't

Note: When we have a negative sentence, sometimes there are two possible contractions that we can use. We can use either contraction or no contraction at all. It does not matter.
  • He is not a good friend.
  • He's not a good friend.
  • He isn't a good friend.
All three sentences are the same.

Here are a few more rules about contractions.

1. We cannot use contractions as the last word of a sentence.

A) Is he tired?
B) Yes, he's. / Yes, he is.

2. Contractions are used for speaking and writing in a casual style like a note to a friend or in an online chatroom. Do not use them in formal writing.

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