A contraction is a shortened version of the written and spoken forms of a word, syllable, or word group, created by omission of internal letters.

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Etymology of “let us” and “let's”

The verb let means “allow”, “permit”, “not prevent or forbid”, “pass, go or come” and it's used with an object and the bare infinitive. Are you going to let me drive or not? Don't let ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What's wrong with this sentence? [closed]

I've noticed a few times recently that a generic, but well known text editor seems to be flagging up stuff that I'm sure is correct. For example, in the following sentence, the generic, but well ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Exceptions to the rule that AAVE can omit “is” and “are” iff the corresponding form in standard English can be contracted?

According to Wikipedia: Only the forms is and are (of which the latter is anyway often replaced by is) can be omitted; am, was, and were are not deleted. These forms cannot be omitted when ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Is there a term for removing contractions?

Is there an English verb for removing contractions from a body of text? Like changing "I wasn't there" to "I was not there".
2
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2answers
86 views

Is it correct to replace “what does” with “what's”?

I recently came across a sentence in a online publication that used apostrophe-"S" as replacement for "does". I was wondering; is this allowed? I only know "what's" as replacement for "what is". The ...
1
vote
2answers
397 views

Using contractions in questions

I am very sure about the use of contractions in positive and negative sentences. But I am not sure about their use in questions. I've seen many examples of the use of contractions in questions, but I ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Use of AMEX, MasterCard, Visa without the word “card”

Do you say my AMEX, my Visa Gold, my MasterCard to mean your credit cards issued by a relevant company? I always take (my) Visa Gold, when I go abroad on holiday. Will you accept AMEX (at a ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Can you contract the main verb in a sentence?

One can contract I have to I've when have is a helping verb, e.g. I've got an octopus in my pants. Is contracting the main verb technically incorrect or merely antiquated? My father loves to ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Technically, would the contraction “I'm” be a sentence? [duplicate]

Way back in high school, I asked my English teacher a question while we were on the topic of sentence fragments. If the words "I am." make a complete sentence, then would the contraction "I'm" be a ...
0
votes
1answer
238 views

Why is it “'s” after Let and before a verb, example “Let's go” or Let's do something"? [duplicate]

We often learn the structure “Let’s do something”, but why it there an apostrophe-s after let and before the verb? Why does we need ’s in this structure? Does ’s means is or does it mean was?
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Can “it's” be used as a question? [duplicate]

In my experience, people say "it's" in place of "it is," but never in the form of a question. I think the question "It's?" sounds awkward, but I'd like to know if it's grammatically correct. Is it? ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

what is the reason ..we say can't? intead of can not [duplicate]

Numerous exceptions r there in English grammar ,why it is so? Like I m still confused between India HAS/HAVE won the match?
1
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1answer
345 views
16
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4answers
849 views

Why can I contract *across* a word, skipping the word in the middle? [duplicate]

I wrote this sentence: Why wouldn't it be valid? --and I realized that without the contraction it becomes: Why would it not be valid? As opposed to "why would not it be valid," as the ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

Contraction of 'Am I not'? [duplicate]

To the best of my understanding the correct contraction of "Am I not" is "aren't I". However, growing up in Scotland I very frequently heard an alternative contraction "amn't I". I think this though ...
2
votes
3answers
173 views

Why did common contractions become common?

Examples: Real life isn't like that, y'know. Y'all are awesome. I dunno why. Where'd you go? This is my theory: these phrases/sentences have been said so many times that people ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the English term for a word meaning a shortened/contracted version of itself? [duplicate]

I remember being taught this by my Literature teacher in school long ago but I can't remember the actual term, maybe complicated sounding like 'onomatopoeia'. I don't mean apostrophes e.g. wouldn't. ...
6
votes
4answers
10k views

Why does “Why doesn't it work?” become “Why does it not work?”

When you uncontract doesn't in "Why doesn't it work?" the not moves to "Why does it not work?" This confuses me even more when I use a longer phrase instead of the pronoun it like below: Why ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Correct usage of *'ve contractions

Coincidentally over the last few days, I have twice seen what I view as an 'incorrect' use of I've, viz. How could I've done this better? On attempting to explain why this sounds wrong to a ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
2
votes
1answer
815 views

Are “kinda”, “sorta”, “oughta” and “sposta” acceptable in formal writing?

I get that sorta, kinda, sorta-kinda (this one I quite like though) oughta and sposta imitate speech but it still niggles me to find them "in print", especially when the overall tone is formal. ...
10
votes
5answers
755 views

Is it okay to say and write “ain't” yet?

Over 10 years ago saying "ain't" was discouraged but it was gaining momentum. What happened? Seems like it's still discouraged. Maybe in another 10 years?
-1
votes
1answer
79 views

Can “you've” be used as a possessive “have”? [duplicate]

Generally, "you've" is used in conjunction with another verb, such as "I see you've arrived" or "She asked if you've seen this". Is it also acceptable to use "you've" without a second verb, using the ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Contraction of “There are” to “There're” [duplicate]

I'm a soon published author going through my final edit of the book and I got stuck thinking about this one. I understand that when writing this you should type in "There are". When people are saying ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

It seems natural to say “who'd've” in speech, but is this incorrect?

It definitely seems strange in writing. All of the following make sense: who would have who'd have who would've But what about this? who'd've
0
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1answer
3k views

Is it correct to shorten “you have” to “you've”? [closed]

If "you are" can be shortened to "you're", can "you have" be shortened to "you've"? Is it acceptable? If yes, what are the situations where it can be used?
0
votes
2answers
82 views

apostrophes and possession [duplicate]

So I was taught that I should use apostrophes when something possesses something else, but I'm not sure about the use of it's in the following situation: ...and they found their way to a castle. ...
1
vote
1answer
607 views

Why do we say won't instead of willn't? [duplicate]

If won't is the contraction of will not, where did the "wo" come from in won't? Why is this convention over willn't?
28
votes
5answers
95k views

Is “there're” (similar to “there's”) a correct contraction?

Q: "Do you have any juice?" A: "Yes, there's some in the fridge." Sounds perfectly fine to me, but: Q: "Do you have any towels?" A: "Yes, there's some in the closet." Does not. I asked ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Is there a contraction known as the're?

Recently, one of my relatives started studying the English Language and she came to discuss that the contraction of there are can also be written as the're because that's they way she learnt it at ...
2
votes
2answers
343 views

“I'd done…” vs “I had done…”

Is the former less common for native English speakers because it kinda sound like I done? I'm basing this assumption on Ngrams. But I may be wrong. Example sentences: Plus, I was ashamed to ...
-3
votes
1answer
1k views

Bob's vs. Bobs? [closed]

Many of my friends use an apostrophe-S after a proper noun to conjoin the word with the word is. For example: "Bob's angry today." This does not make sense to me. I know that an apostrophe can ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Contraction Rampage [duplicate]

I don't see this getting used quite often, but is it alright to use chain contractions in essays, reports, letters, documents, etc.? I shouldn't've'd eaten that doughnut. They'll've a ...
0
votes
2answers
351 views

I know “of” sounds like “ov”. Does “I've” sound like “If”?

I was studying connected speech and I read when we say for example I've finished my homework we pronounce the 've and f in finished as only one sound. Is it only in this case or whenever I ...
-1
votes
1answer
8k views

“No, I don't” or “No, I do not” in responding English questions

Consider: A: Do you like ice cream? B: No, I don't. Usually in a grammar book when you answer someone's question with negation you'll use shortened answer as in "I don't". I know you can ...
35
votes
13answers
27k views

Can a word be contracted twice (e.g. “I'ven't”)?

I've seen a contraction of two words. I can't see why it wouldn't be possible to contract twice. Is it possible and how should it be punctuated? Update: Ok, to sum up the answers so far This ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Different ways of using <pronoun> + 'd + <verb> [closed]

I'm sorry the title makes little sense but I don't know how to phrase it differently. In a sentence like When I was a kid, I'd go to school every morning the 'd stands for I used to, right? ...
7
votes
3answers
258 views

Was “Do not you want to know…” correct 200 years ago, and is now incorrect?

"Do not you want to know who has taken it?'' cried his wife impatiently. -Pride and Prejudice (1813) According to one of the answers in Is "Don't you know? " the same as ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Word for describing someone whose name is the opposite of what they are?

I was wondering if there is a word to describe someone whose name is diametrically oppossed to who they are. For instance a firefighter whose last name is Arson or a swimmer whose last name is Dry.
0
votes
2answers
167 views

the slang contraction of “what'd he” as in the sentence “what'd he come at you with”

What is the slang contraction of "What'd he" as in the sentence "What'd he come at you with"? "What'd he" is already a contraction but I mean in the same manner like whatcha = what're you=what've you, ...
40
votes
5answers
19k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are contractions considered unprofessional?

I've heard people specify not to use contractions in order to maintain a degree of professionalism. I've heard this mentioned by fellow students while in school as well. I've never heard this with ...
-1
votes
1answer
141 views

Why are many English contractions considered okay to use in contraction-form, but believed to “sound wrong” when used individually? [duplicate]

Some popular examples: Don't you know any better? Now use that with out the contractions: Do not you know any better? Want to bet that many English speakers would find this weird or wrong ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do not we ask negative questions without a contraction on the not after the verb?

I have found multiple questions touching on this but not a single one that has a comprehensive answer. The information is all there but in little bits. "Do you not" vs. "Don't ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Using “it's” instead of “it is” [duplicate]

I like the way contractions operate and I know the difference between "it's" and "its" based on contraction and possession. That is, "it's = it is" and "its" is possessive. However, there are some ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Contractions of “have” in the sense of “to possess”

I see this usage frequently on various SE sites: I've an [object] This usage of "I've" seems very strange [edit: archaic or poetic] to me as a native speaker of US English. I'm accustomed to ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What’s the word for the habit of writing “play’d” or “revolv’d”?

I’m working on an 18th-century manuscript, and I’m trying to explain to others the use of ’d in past tense verbs. Is there a word that encompasses the usage of ’d in early 18th-century manuscripts? ...
17
votes
2answers
432 views

Space before apostrophe

In the 1928 Scribner’s (NY) edition of The Plays of J. M. Barrie, I’ve noticed an odd convention: where a contraction happens in middle of a word (e.g., “don’t” for “do n(o)t”), the apostrophe has the ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

When did “y’all” become improper?

It is my understanding that the contraction y’all was considered correct American English in times past. At what point was this word removed from valid American English?