List of Contractions: What They Are and How to Use Them?

In this article, we’ll explore what contractions are, how they work, and when it’s appropriate to use them in your writing. We’ll also look at some common mistakes to avoid when using contractions and provide some tips for using them effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, understanding contractions is an important part of mastering the art of written communication. So, let’s dive in and explore this fascinating topic together!

List of Contractions in English

List of Contractions: What They Are and How to Use Them?

Understanding Contractions

If you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie, you’ve probably come across contractions. Contractions are a type of abbreviation that combine two words by removing certain letters and adding an apostrophe. They are commonly used in informal writing and speech, but can also be found in more formal contexts.

Definition

A contraction is a shortened version of a word or phrase that is created by omitting one or more letters and replacing them with an apostrophe. Contractions are used to make speech and writing more concise, informal, and conversational. They are commonly used in English, particularly in spoken English, and can be found in a variety of contexts.

Types of Contractions

There are two main types of contractions: those that involve the omission of letters from the middle of a word and those that involve the omission of letters from the end of a word. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types.

Middle Contractions

Middle contractions involve the omission of one or more letters from the middle of a word. They are typically formed by combining a subject or auxiliary verb with a not or a pronoun. Here are some examples of middle contractions:

  • can’t (cannot)
  • won’t (will not)
  • shouldn’t (should not)
  • doesn’t (does not)
  • I’m (I am)
  • you’re (you are)

End Contractions

End contractions involve the omission of one or more letters from the end of a word. They are typically formed by combining a subject or auxiliary verb with a verb. Here are some examples of end contractions:

  • he’ll (he will)
  • she’s (she is)
  • it’s (it is)
  • we’ve (we have)
  • they’re (they are)

Usage of Contractions

When it comes to using contractions, it’s important to consider the context and tone of your writing. Contractions are commonly used in informal writing and speech, but may not be appropriate in formal writing.

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In Formal Writing

In formal writing, such as academic papers, business letters, or professional emails, it’s generally best to avoid using contractions. This is because contractions can make your writing appear less professional and may detract from your credibility. Instead, opt for the full form of the words to convey a sense of formality and respect.

Here are some examples of contractions that you should avoid using in formal writing:

Contractions Full Form
can’t cannot
don’t do not
it’s it is
won’t will not
they’re they are

In Informal Writing

In informal writing, such as personal emails, text messages, or social media posts, contractions are more commonly used and are generally acceptable. Using contractions in informal writing can help to convey a sense of casualness and friendliness.

Here are some examples of contractions that you can use in informal writing:

Contractions Full Form
can’t cannot
don’t do not
it’s it is
won’t will not
they’re they are

Common Contractions

In English Language, contractions are commonly used to shorten phrases and make them easier to say. They are formed by combining two words and omitting one or more letters, which are replaced by an apostrophe. Here are some of the most common contractions used in English:

In English Language

Contractions Full form
can’t cannot
don’t do not
won’t will not
isn’t is not
it’s it is
we’re we are
they’re they are
I’m I am
you’re you are
he’s he is
she’s she is

It is important to note that not all words can be contracted. Typically, only small and common words, especially pronouns and modal verbs, can be contracted. Even though they represent multiple words, contractions act as a single word.

In Other Languages

Contractions are not unique to the English language. Many other languages also use contractions to shorten phrases and make them easier to say. Here are some examples of contractions in other languages:

Language Contractions Full form
French c’est cela est / ce est
Spanish del de el
Italian nell’ in il
Portuguese no em o
German im in dem

Full List of Contractions

Here is an important list of contractions ESL students should study.

Would

  • I would = I’d
  • You would = You’d
  • He would = He’d
  • She would = She’d
  • It would = It’d
  • We would = We’d
  • They would = They’d
  • That would = That’d
  • These would = These’d
  • There would = There’d
  • Who would = Who’d
  • What would = What’d
  • Where would = Where’d
  • When would = When’d
  • Why would = Why’d
  • How would = How’d
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Be

  • You are = You’re
  • He is = He’s
  • She is = She’s
  • It is = It’s
  • We are = We’re
  • They are = They’re
  • That is = That’s
  • These are = These’re
  • There is = There’s
  • Who is = Who’s
  • What are = What’re
  • Where is = Where’s
  • When is = When’s
  • Why is = Why’s
  • How are = How’re

Have/ Has

  • I have = I’ve
  • You have = You’ve
  • He has = He’s
  • She has = She’s
  • It has = It’s
  • We have = We’ve
  • They have = They’ve
  • That has = That’s
  • These have = These’ve
  • There has = There’s
  • Who has = Who’s
  • What have = What’ve
  • Where has = Where’s
  • Why has = Why’s
  • How have = How’ve

Had

  • I had = I’d
  • You had = You’d
  • He had = He’d
  • She had = She’d
  • It had = It’d
  • We had = We’d
  • They had = They’d
  • That had = That’d
  • These had = These’d
  • There had = There’d
  • Who had = Who’d
  • What had = What’d
  • Where had = Where’d
  • Why had = Why’d
  • How had = How’d

Will

  • I will = I’ll
  • You will = You’ll
  • He will = He’ll
  • She will = She’ll
  • It will = It’ll
  • We will = We’ll
  • They will = They’ll
  • That will = That’ll
  • These will = These’ll
  • There will = There’ll
  • Who will = Who’ll
  • What will = What’ll
  • Where will = Where’ll
  • When will = When’ll
  • Why will = Why’ll
  • How will = How’ll

Contractions in Grammar

Contractions are a unique type of word that combines two or more other words in a shortened form, usually with an apostrophe. They take words that usually go together, like “can not” or “I have”, and then remove certain letters to shorten them and make other words, like “can’t” or “I’ve.” In this section, we’ll cover the rules and exceptions for using contractions in grammar.

Rules

Contractions are commonly used in informal writing and speaking. However, it is important to note that they are usually not appropriate in formal writing. Here are some general rules to follow when using contractions:

  • Use contractions in informal writing and speaking, such as emails to friends, text messages, and casual conversations.
  • Do not use contractions in formal writing, such as academic papers, business letters, or legal documents.
  • Use contractions only when they do not change the meaning of the sentence.
  • Use contractions with auxiliary verbs, and also with “be” and “have” when they are not auxiliary verbs.

Here are some examples of correct usage of contractions:

  • “I can’t speak Spanish.”
  • “It’s getting dark.”
  • “They’re not coming for dinner.”
  • “Our flight is at 7 o’clock.”
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Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the rules for using contractions. In some cases, contractions can be used in formal writing to convey a more conversational tone. For example, in a personal essay or a blog post, contractions can be used to make the writing sound more natural and engaging.

Another exception is when using contractions in dialogue. When writing dialogue for a character, it is appropriate to use contractions to make the dialogue sound more realistic and natural. However, it is important to use contractions consistently for the same character throughout the dialogue.

Here are some examples of correct usage of contractions in exceptions:

  • “I’m sorry, but I cannot attend the meeting tomorrow.” (formal writing)
  • “I’ve been working on this project for weeks.” (personal essay)
  • “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” (dialogue)

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know when I am having contractions?

When you are having contractions, you will feel a tightening sensation in your uterus that comes and goes. You might also feel pressure in your pelvis or lower back. As labor progresses, the contractions will become stronger and more frequent.

What do early contractions feel like?

Early contractions can feel like menstrual cramps or lower back pain. They might be mild and irregular at first, but they will become stronger and more regular as labor progresses.

When do contractions start?

Contractions can start at any time, but they are most likely to start in the weeks leading up to your due date. If you are past your due date, your doctor might induce labor to help get things moving.

What do false contractions feel like?

False contractions, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions, can feel like mild cramping or tightening in your uterus. They are usually irregular and don’t become stronger or more frequent over time.

How do contractions feel when they first start?

When contractions first start, they might feel like mild menstrual cramps or lower back pain. As labor progresses, the contractions will become stronger and more intense.

What are the 4 stages of labor?

The first stage of labor is when your cervix begins to dilate and efface. The second stage is when you begin to push and your baby is born. The third stage is when the placenta is delivered. The fourth stage is the first few hours after delivery, when your body begins to recover.

Last Updated on November 14, 2023

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