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 verb||Contraction|
2. Contractions with Question Words and Be Verbs
|Question Word + be verb||Contraction|
3. Contractions with Will and Pronouns/Question Words
|Pronoun + will||Contractions|
4. Contractions with Would or Had and Pronouns
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.
|Pronoun + would||Contractions|
|I would / I had||I'd|
|You would / You had||You'd|
|We would / We had||We'd|
|He would / He had||He'd|
|She would / She had||She'd|
|They would / They had||They'd|
- 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/has||Contractions|
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.
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?
/ 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.