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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Can I use the “ll” contraction with proper names?

Can I contract "will" as "ll" when preceded by a proper name? For example: John will visit you tomorrow John'll visit you tomorrow I am inclined to think this is not acceptable in standard ...
3
votes
1answer
601 views

Are compound contractions proper grammar? [duplicate]

I've been told that compound contractions like couldn't've and I'd've are proper grammar. Are they?
0
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2answers
775 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
748 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? ...
-2
votes
4answers
503 views

“There is” vs. “there are” when contracted [duplicate]

Unless I am mistaken, when referring to a single thing or entity, one can say there is or there's (the contraction of the same). When referring to more than one of something, the correct wording is ...
0
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0answers
44 views

When to use “programming's” vs. “programming is” [duplicate]

My sentence can be said as: Programming is fun. and it can also be said as: Programming's fun. Both seem to be correct. When should I use one instead of the other?
2
votes
0answers
1k views

Contradictory Idioms [closed]

I stumbled across some contradictory idioms, and it made me wonder how many idioms can be contradicted with other idioms! Some that I've collected so far: The pen is mightier than the sword ...
13
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2answers
311 views

Appropriate title case: 'em or 'Em or 'EM

It's a common practice to capitalize headings/titles of articles. But is there a correct or conventional way to capitalize words in titles that are apocopated apheresed at the beginning? E.g. ...
5
votes
1answer
511 views

Why does the “e” in judge vanish in the word “judgment”?

The in the word "judgment", the "e" from "judge" is absent. Three questions on this: Why is this? Is there a name for such a contraction? How and why does the "g" still retain its "soft" ...
0
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2answers
267 views

Has the contraction “you’re” finally been replaced by “your”?

Your is almost universally used these days for you’re (“you are”). Is the misuse of your a result of ignorance, or is the contraction now formally dead?
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1answer
2k views

“What say we [suggestion (verb phrase)]”

I would like to understand the history of the modern expression “what say we” followed immediately by a verb phrase, used to make a suggestion and common in informal speech, as attested at Oxford ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Using contractions like “I'm” in text [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using contracted forms (“don’t”, “let’s”) in a formal text Are contractions like "didn't" forbidden in written English? Usage of contractions like ...
2
votes
2answers
297 views

Why is an apostrophe used in the genitive “-’s”?

The English possessive isn’t a contraction, but rather a relic of the grammatical case system, so why is an apostrophe used in (most) forms of the possessive?
3
votes
3answers
909 views

Is “ain’t” slang, or is it colloquial instead?

Does using the word ain’t in a song make it slang, whereas using it in a speech make it colloquial?
2
votes
1answer
883 views

“If you don't do it, I'll”. Why does that sentence feel so awkward? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it’s”? Earlier today while writing a very informal email, I expressed: If you don't do it, I will. ...
1
vote
2answers
950 views

Explanation for “them's”

Recently someone said to me: Them's the rules I thought he had the sentence wrong, but as it turns out it is slang. I am learning English as a second language and I would really appreciate if ...
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5answers
3k views

“that's why” in formal essays

"I'm", "it's" are forbidden in formal essays. Can I use "that's why" in the opening of my Statement of Purpose? Fancy flights used to fill me with euphoria, that's why I named myself Joseph, but ...
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vote
3answers
1k views

There isn't and there is no [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “There is no rule” vs. “there isn’t rule” If I'm not mistaken, both "There isn't a storm." and "There is no storm." have the same meaning. I understand that the first ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a possessive noun a contraction?

I was told not to use contractions in an essay. My classmate wrote "the argument of Emily" but I preferred "Emily's argument". He disagreed and claimed "Emily's" is a contraction.
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vote
2answers
2k views

“I wouldn't ever” vs. “I would never”

The two expressions from the title, “I wouldn't ever” and “I would never”, are very similar. But are they completely equivalent or do they bear any subtle differences? If so, how do they differ in ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

Use of contractions in an exam

I am teaching Intermediate Level English to exam students in Spain and I have been asked when is it correct to use contractions. I am of the understanding that, in an oral or written exam, it would be ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

“I won't” vs. “I'll not”

I won’t and I’ll not are both short forms of I will not. Both are used in English. Are there any situations where one is preferred over other?
4
votes
3answers
826 views

Were contractions used in spoken English in 18th-century London?

I am currently writing a story set in London of 1795. I am trying my best to avoid linguistic anachronisms in the dialogue, but I have had difficulty finding reliable resources regarding spoken ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 below sentence, the generic, but well known ...
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votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
383 views

How was “ben't” used, and when did it cease to be used?

In Jane Austen's The Watsons, the maid of the titular family utters the following sentence: "Please, ma'am, master wants to know why he ben't to have his dinner?" I have never encountered ben't ...
1
vote
1answer
343 views

Usage of “ain't” in formal conversation

Is it okay to use ain't in formal conversation? I know ain't can be used for am not, is not, are not, have not, has not. So if I can use it in day-to-day life, it will be easier for me I guess.
5
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Is it not raining” vs. “Isn't it raining”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tag Questions “is he not” Which is correct: Is it not raining today? Isn't it raining today?
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Counting contractions as one or two words [closed]

I read this in a product review, and it has been bugging me all day. Three words: it's really cheap. "It's" is obviously a contraction of two words, but does it count as one or two words?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “that've” a valid contraction for “that have”?

Is "that've" a valid contraction for "that have"? For example, the sentence: "I've been working with some substances that've been detrimental to my health." It follows the patterns of other similar ...
7
votes
1answer
29k views

When to use “cannot” versus “can't”?

When is it best to write "can't" versus writing "cannot"? Are they interchangeable in every situation?
9
votes
2answers
366 views

Is there a rule for when contractions are not possible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it's”? In conversing with non-native English speakers online, I saw someone type: ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

Should a contraction taken from the center of a word have two apostrophes? [closed]

I'm currently reading Entrepreneur Magazine, and there is a story profiling a 13-year-old who created a series of stickers to embellish Lego blocks. The subtitle of the story reads A pint-size ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“You're not” vs. “you ain't” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “ain't” mean? What's the difference between "you're not" and "you ain't" ("...coming home")? I do realize that ain't is a contraction of are ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the correct usage of contractions like “isn't” and “wasn't”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do contractions (e.g. “don't”) and full phrases (e.g. “do not”) have the same meaning? I frequently see contractions such as "isn't" and ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

When can one use a contraction at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it's”? Sometimes it's fine to use a contraction at the end of a sentence: "If you're ...
1
vote
4answers
227 views

“Can take no other” vs. “can't take other”

As an ESL I'm not sure if I can use the following sentences: You can take no other directions. I'm using it on giving indications to a foreigner. Should I use instead: You can't take other ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Apostrophes in contractions: shan't, sha'n't or sha'nt?

I came across the word sha'n't when reading Winnie the Pooh the other day and it cast me into a Thoughtful Mood concerning the Appropriate Spelling of this word. This word is a contraction of "shall ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between “I haven't” and “I've not” etc

If I have three consecutive words where each adjacent pair can be contracted, e.g. "I would have" or "You are not", is there a difference between the two possible contractions, e.g. "I would've" or ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

“There isn't” vs. “there's not”

They both expand to "there is not" but for some reason "There's not" sounds indescribably uncomfortable for most situations. Can anyone elucidate why this might be? Or am I wrong? EDIT: Let me ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Tag Questions “is he not”

"He is happy, isn't he?" If you did not use the contraction isn't he, in the question above, would the correct sentence be: "He is happy, is he not?" "He is happy, is not he?" Sentence #1 seems ...
0
votes
1answer
340 views

Pronunciation of “'ll”

How do I read the following sentences (especially in conversational speech)? The dog'll eat the bones. Tom'll go to school. Anna'll come tomorrow. I mean the sound of 'll.
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “<NOUN>'s” (contraction) proper English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it grammatically correct to create a contraction of words followed by “is”? Using contracted forms (“don't”, “let's”) in a formal text Should ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Why is there an apostrophe in “h'm”?

By that I refer to the sound people make when they're thinking. Most people write "hm" nowadays, so they may not know of this, but traditionally, people wrote it as "h'm". The apostrophe can't ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Should the use of apostrophes be consistent?

It is time to rock, but don't be too loud. Is it recommended to stay consistent with the use of apostrophes? Should it instead be: It's time to rock, but don't be too loud. If that is fine ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is “Why don't you like ___?” okay, but “Why do not you like?” ___?“ isn't?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “Don't you know? ” the same as “Do not you know?”? "Why don't you like?" seems commonly used, but I never hear "Why do not you like?" ...
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vote
0answers
38 views

Do you put double dots when a contraction occurs at the end of the sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it? Is it grammatically correct to use two dots at the end of the contraction 'etc' when ...
2
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1answer
3k views

“We're not” vs. “we aren't”

I'm just curious if there are any "official" rules (or opinions either way) about what form to use when three words can be contracted on either side.
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votes
4answers
10k 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 ...