A contraction is the short version of a written or spoken form of a word.
Contractions are used a lot in spoken English and when writing something informal like a message or email to a friend. However, you should not use contractions in formal writing like a school essay, a contract, or business report.
In this lesson, we will cover present tense contractions. There are a few different ways to use and make contractions in the present tense.
1. We can make a contraction by combining the pronoun and "be verb".
|I am → I'm||You are → You're|
|We are → We're||She is → She's|
|He is → He's||It is → It's|
|They are → They're|
- I'm tired.
- I'm a doctor.
- You're nice.
- You're a good worker.
- We're sick.
- We're best friends.
- She's talkative.
- She's an artist.
- He's friendly.
- He's an engineer.
- It's expensive.
- It's a dog.
- They're delicious.
- They're cookies.
You cannot use these contractions at the end of a sentence. For example:
A) Are you tired?
B) Yes, I'm tired. /
A) Is he a doctor?
B) Yes, he's a doctor. /
2. We can add an apostrophe and -s to the end of the subject. We only do this for the be verb "is". We do not do it for the be verb "are". For example,
- Tim is polite. = Tim's polite.
- Jane is a teacher. = Jane's a teacher.
3. We can also make contractions by combining question words and the be verb "is". It is not common to make contractions with "are" or "am".
|What is → What's||Who is → Who's|
|Where is → Where's||When is → When's|
|Why is → Why's||How is → How's|
- What's your name?
- Who's your professor?
- Where's his hometown?
- When's the concert?
- Why's that wrong?
- How's life?
It is not normal to make contractions with "are", but you might hear it sometimes when people are speaking, especially, when they are speaking fast.
- What are their names? (What're their names?)
4. We can also make contractions with "is" and that/there/here.
|that is →that's||there is →there's||here is → here's|
- That's my book.
- There's Tim!
- There's a book on the table.
- Here's the report that you wanted.
5. It is very common to make contractions with "not". Look at the table to see the contractions that you need to know.
|is not → isn't||are not → aren't|
|do not → don't||does not → doesn't|
- He isn't an engineer.
- He isn't a basketball player.
- We aren't tired.
- They aren't friends.
- I don't like pizza.
- I don't work there.
- It doesn't work.
- The computer doesn't work.
- We don't have time.
Sometimes, you have a choice of what contraction to use when you use a negative sentence with a be verb.
- He's not tired. = He isn't tired.
- She's not a painter. = She isn't a painter.
- They're not brothers. = They aren't brothers.
- We're not sick. = We aren't sick.
- That's not a good idea. = That isn't a good idea.
It is possible to end a sentence in a negative contraction (as we said earlier, you cannot end a sentence with a positive contraction. Is he tired?
Contractions are extremely important to know because every native English speaker uses them. You must be able to understand them. Example Sentences
- Yes, he's tired. / Yes, he is. / Yes, he's.
- No, he isn't tired. / No, he is not. / No, he isn't.
English Conversation 1
- I'm a nurse. I'm not a doctor.
- He's an interesting guy. He's not boring.
- She isn't an office worker. She's a gardener.
- The cars aren't new. They're old.
- The dogs aren't scary. They're cute and nice.
- She's talkative. She isn't a quiet person.
- Michael's polite. He isn't rude.
- Tina isn't a school teacher. She's a professor.
- Here's the restaurant.
- There's a spider on the table.
- That's not my book. Is it yours?
- I don't hate you.
- You don't hate it.
- We don't hate the color.
- He doesn't hate it, but he doesn't love it.
- She doesn't hate her job.
- It doesn't hate me.
- Jenny doesn't hate her mom.
- Bill doesn't hate his new car.
- They don't hate us.
- Bill and Jenny don't hate their lives.
- I don't have a pen.
- You don't have any money.
- We don't have any time.
- He doesn't have red hair.
- She doesn't have a book.
- It doesn't have black hair.
- Jenny doesn't have a job.
- Bill doesn't have a pet.
- They don't have spaghetti at this restaurant.
- Bill and Jenny don't have a TV in their house.
A) Hello. What's your name?
B) Hi. I'm Ben.
A) Nice to meet you, Ben. I'm Tim. Who's that over there?
B) He's my friend.
A) Do you work with your friend?
B) Yes, but I'm an engineer and he's an accountant. English Conversation 2
A) I don't like this restaurant.
B) Why's that? My food's great.
A) I don't like this steak.
B) Really? It doesn't look bad.
A) It looks good, but it's cold and chewy.
B) Why don't you send it back?
A) I think I will. You're full of good ideas. Learn to speak English fluently. Practice by finishing the sentences below and then practice making your own sentences. It is the best way to learn English fast! Tip: Say the sentences aloud. This will help you practice speaking English and improve your English fluency.
I'm not _______________.
He's not _______________.
He isn't _______________.
She's not _______________.
We're not _______________.
We aren't _______________.
It's not _______________.
It isn't _______________.
They're not _______________.
They aren't _______________.
I don't _______________.
We don't _______________.
My family doesn't _______________.
My company doesn't _______________.
My friends don't _______________.
Dogs don't _______________.
My phone doesn't _______________.