VerbAbout VerbsAction VerbsCausative VerbsContractionsDo and MakeFinite and Nonfinite VerbsGerundInfinitive FormInversionLinking VerbsModal VerbsMay and MightMoodsPhrasal VerbsSay and TellShallStative VerbsThird Person SingularUsed toRegular VerbsIrregular VerbsVerb FormsCompound Verbs
ConditionalConditionalZero ConditionalFirst ConditionalSecond ConditionalThird ConditionalMixed ConditionalInversion in Conditional Sentences
Passive VoicePassive VoicePresent Simple PassivePresent Continuous PassivePast Simple PassivePast Continuous PassivePerfect Tenses PassiveFuture Simple PassiveGoing to PassiveSay / Believe / SupposeGet + Participle
Adverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of Frequency - Position in Sentence
QuestionsQuestion TagsRhetorical QuestionsEcho Questions
Reported SpeechReported SpeechModals in Reported SpeechReported Commands and RequestsReported QuestionsPresent Perfect in Reported SpeechFuture Perfect in Reported Speech
Irregular VerbsIrregular Verbs - GroupsIrregular Verbs - Forms
ParticiplesPresent ParticiplePast ParticiplePerfect Participle
Other TopicsWill vs. Going toIf / Even if / Whether / Unless If + Were or If + WasAs If / As Though + Past SubjunctiveHabits Expressed by Will and WouldHad BetterSubject
Read MoreAuxiliary VerbsAuxiliary Verbs: To BeAuxiliary Verbs: To HaveAuxiliary Verbs: To DoWhen To Use the Verb To Be
Grammar

Contractions

Contractions (contracted forms called also short forms) are short words formed from two or more words.
The most common example is when we add not to an auxiliary verb in negative sentences.

DO

+

NOT

=

DON'T

IS

+

NOT

=

ISN'T

WERE

+

NOT

=

WEREN'T

Examples:

  • He won't do it.
  • Mike isn't happy.

As you can see, the letter "o" has been replaced by an apostrophe — this is how contractions are formed.

Contracted forms are by no means limited to the ones with not. Other words, such as is, are, will, are also often contracted.

HE

+

IS

=

HE'S

WE

+

ARE

=

WE'RE

I

+

WILL

=

I'LL

Examples:

  • We'll do it.
  • They're doing just fine.

Since there are only a few contractions, you should easily be able to memorise them.

When Are Contracted Forms Used?

Contractions are mainly used in speech and informal writing. They should not be used in formal writing, like you can see in the text below:
"The User also agrees that the aforementioned individuals are not responsible for any Internet Usage Fees incurred while using the Site. The User agrees that the aforementioned individuals may not be sued or be held responsible for anything, as this is a free service and use is voluntary. Should the User NOT agree that the aforementioned individuals are removed from all responsibilities, the User should not use the Service."

Contractions and Possessive Pronouns

Contractions are often confused with possessive pronouns, because of identical pronunciation.

Look at sentences below. Which of them are correct?

  • Their sleeping in a tent today. (a)
  • They're sleeping in a tent today. (b)
  • Has the lion lost its roar? (c)
  • Has the lion lost it's roar? (d)
  • It's me! (e)
  • Its me! (f)

The correct answers are: b, c, and e.

a and e are contracted forms of the verb to be, c is a possessive pronoun.

The remaining sentences are incorrect because a possessive pronoun has been used instead of a contracted form, or vice versa.

List of Common Contractions

are not

aren't

they will; they shall

they'll

cannot

can't

they are

they're

could not

couldn't

we had; we would

we'd

did not

didn't

we are

we're

does not

doesn't

we have

we've

had not

hadn't

were not

weren't

has not

hasn't

what will; what shall

what'll

have not

haven't

what are

what're

he had; he would

he'd

what is; what has

what's

he will; he shall

he'll

what have

what've

he is; he has

he's

where is; where has

where's

I had; I would

I'd

who had; who would

who'd

I will; I shall

I'll

who will; who shall

who'll

I am

I'm

who are

who're

I have

I've

who is; who has

who's

is not

isn't

who have

who've

let us

let's

will not

won't

might not

mightn't

would not

wouldn't

shall not

shan't

you had; you would

you'd

she had; she would

she'd

you will; you shall

you'll

she is; she has

she's

you are

you're

should not

shouldn't

you have

you've

that is; that has

that's

there is; there has there's

they had

 they'd

they would they'd
 Some people in the US use a special contraction: you all = y’all.

Check your understanding!

VerbAbout VerbsAction VerbsCausative VerbsContractionsDo and MakeFinite and Nonfinite VerbsGerundInfinitive FormInversionLinking VerbsModal VerbsMay and MightMoodsPhrasal VerbsSay and TellShallStative VerbsThird Person SingularUsed toRegular VerbsIrregular VerbsVerb FormsCompound Verbs
ConditionalConditionalZero ConditionalFirst ConditionalSecond ConditionalThird ConditionalMixed ConditionalInversion in Conditional Sentences
Passive VoicePassive VoicePresent Simple PassivePresent Continuous PassivePast Simple PassivePast Continuous PassivePerfect Tenses PassiveFuture Simple PassiveGoing to PassiveSay / Believe / SupposeGet + Participle
Adverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of Frequency - Position in Sentence
QuestionsQuestion TagsRhetorical QuestionsEcho Questions
Reported SpeechReported SpeechModals in Reported SpeechReported Commands and RequestsReported QuestionsPresent Perfect in Reported SpeechFuture Perfect in Reported Speech
Irregular VerbsIrregular Verbs - GroupsIrregular Verbs - Forms
ParticiplesPresent ParticiplePast ParticiplePerfect Participle
Other TopicsWill vs. Going toIf / Even if / Whether / Unless If + Were or If + WasAs If / As Though + Past SubjunctiveHabits Expressed by Will and WouldHad BetterSubject
Read MoreAuxiliary VerbsAuxiliary Verbs: To BeAuxiliary Verbs: To HaveAuxiliary Verbs: To DoWhen To Use the Verb To Be