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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Different pronunciations of “she's” depending on the meaning

According to The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, the contraction she's may be pronounced both with a short [i] sound(as in pit) and a long [i:] sound(as in sheep) when it means she is, but it ...
2
votes
1answer
305 views

Distinguish contraction of “ain't”

I know the contraction of am not, is not, are not, has not, have not, do not, does not, and did not can be represented as ain't. How can I understand correctly which contraction the speaker meant?
6
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3answers
5k views

How can we distinguish between “I would” and “I had” if someone says “I'd”?

How can we unambiguously distinguish between I would and I had, if the native English speaker used the contraction I'd? For instance, I'd read the newspaper. We can mean the above sentence as either ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Are contractions of “I am” or “I would” rude? [closed]

I got edited on Stack Overflow because I used "I'm", "you're" and "I'd" instead of "I am" etc. Is it considered rude to use contractions like that in informal conversations on the internet? I would ...
-1
votes
2answers
450 views

When and where did “not” become commonly used in contraction for, as in “didn't”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Were contractions less common in olden days? I have read some old books in which they did not use "didn't", "wasn't", or similar contractions with "not". I just watched ...
4
votes
0answers
169 views

“Aren't I” vs “Amn't I” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why “ain't I” and “aren't I” instead of “amn't I”? Why do we say "aren't I" rather than "amn't I"? Is it purely for ease ...
9
votes
3answers
343 views

Is there a word/term for a “super-contraction”

I am doing some informal research into dynamic speech and narrative generation, and I've been looking into some local colloquialism and having a little bit of difficultly classifying a set of them. I ...
1
vote
2answers
686 views

Why/When need some kind of short spelling or pronunciation?

In regular usage, nowadays we use short spellings of words in speaking or writing. For example: They are in the cinema. => They're in the cinema. We have been waiting for me. => We've been waiting ...
4
votes
3answers
542 views

Is it okay to say “Yes you're.” instead of “Yes you are.”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it's”? I was having an SMS conversation with a friend and somehow "Yes you're" came ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Can you chain / combine contractions in correct English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a word be contracted twice (e.g. “I'ven't”)? I would like to know if it is proper to chain multiple contractions into a single word when they are ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it incorrect to say, “Why cannot…?”

At any point in history was "Why cannot...?" used as frequently as "Why can't...?" Is it even grammatically correct to say "Why cannot you do this?" I know it can be rearranged to be "Why can you not ...
10
votes
2answers
896 views

What is the uncontracted form of “won't ever”?

I read in a book lately: This is my home and it won't ever be the same again. I was wondering whether the proper uncontracted form would be: This is my home and it will not ever be the same ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

“It isn't” or “It's not” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “It isn't” versus “it's not” When contracting "It is not Tuesday" are there any grammatical reasons to use either: "It's not Tuesday" ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Can the “don't” contraction be expanded when used as a command?

I refer to the usage of "don't" as an imperative to tell someone what not to do. As in, Hey! Don't you dare touch that button! When it is used in the interrogative or as part of a statement, ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Is “I'll when” proper form? [closed]

A friend of mine keeps using a contraction like this and I keep correcting him by asking "I'll what?". He doesn't get it though, and no matter how much I try to explain it doesn't seem to sink in. ...
2
votes
3answers
363 views

Contracted dates

I'm comfortable with the '80s as a contraction of the eighties, as in the years from 1980-89. How do I correctly use this when it is in a position where it looks like it is either an adjective or ...
1
vote
3answers
397 views

Are contractions worth all the trouble? [closed]

One of the most difficult things even for native speakers of English to learn is the correct use of contractions. To this day when I type it and want to follow it with s I have to spend a fraction of ...
0
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5answers
17k views

Is “That’ll” a real word?

Is the contraction from that will to that’ll an actual word or not?
1
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1answer
697 views

Is it better to write without contractions? E.g. “cannot” instead of “can't” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using contracted forms (“don't”, “let's”) in a formal text Usage of contractions like “it's” and “that's” in textbooks Should contractions ...
1
vote
3answers
337 views

Is “thought'd” Proper English? [closed]

Instead of "I thought I would" or "I thought I'd", I sometimes write "I thought'd". I don't know if this is correct English, however. I mean, you can say "We'd", right? So, why not "thought'd"?
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Contraction of “is not”

How exactly can you contract the phrase "is not"? More specifically, what's the difference between the sentences, "The dog isn't running." and "The dog's not running."? They both sound correct to ...
0
votes
4answers
464 views

Use of ' to indicate missing letters/text

You can write this ol' man 'ere when you mean this old man here But can the ' be used to indicate whole missing sentence parts? For example: 'been a pleasure! for It's been a ...
6
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3answers
6k views

Is “what’s” a correct short form of “what does”?

E.g. “What’s he think?” Usually ’s is short for “is” so I don’t know.
1
vote
1answer
593 views

Contracting “Should not have” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a word be contracted twice (e.g. "I'ven't")? What is the correct way to contract "should not have", if there is one? "Should have" becomes ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Why do we say “This is ” instead of “This's”?

It is => It's I am => I'm That is => That's Why do we say "This is " instead of "This's"?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

Shouldn't have vs. Shouldn't of [closed]

Got into an argument with someone I know about this. I think "shouldn't of" is incorrect and comes from people typing the phrase the way they're used to pronouncing it. He believes both are correct. ...
2
votes
2answers
328 views

Is there any syntactic technicality preventing double contractions from ever becoming valid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is “I'd've” proper use of the English Language? Can a word be contracted twice (e.g. “I'ven't”)? I think the contraction ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Using the contraction of “are”

Are there limited number of words we can append a 're to? Are the following words correct: where're here're
3
votes
2answers
432 views

Is “Most of it's in English” normal English?

The phrase "Most of it's in English" is grammatically correct (it's short for "Most of it is in English"), but it doesn't feel right. Is there a reason it doesn't feel right? Edit: The thing I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
983 views

What is the possessive form of “y'all”?

I generally hear y'alls's used as the possessive form, but I have also heard yourn. Since y'all is a colloquial pronoun, its possessive form is basically liberated from prescriptive linguistics which ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

Is “aren't I” correct grammar?

Since "amn't I" is so clunky, is "aren't I" grammatically correct? Or is the only way to say this "Am I not"?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “ain't” mean?

What does the contraction ain't mean? Is it appropriate to use it in formal settings?
2
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3answers
674 views

Is “e'er” a true English word?

Are poetic contractions, such as "e'er", "o'er" and "ne'er" (and other less common ones), English? As in officially recognized?
0
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4answers
525 views

“You ain't able to be sure about anything.”

Does this sentence make any sense to you as a native speaker? The one who said this actually meant to say, "People like you can never be sure about anything" (implying the opposite side is very ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Usage of “ain't”?

As far as I understand, "ain't" can mean either "isn't" (ain't no sunshine) or "hasn't" (you ain't seen nothing yet). Are there any rules when "ain't" is used? Does it have a different meaning than ...
20
votes
5answers
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“Do's” and “don'ts” or “do's” and “don't's”?

I am making a list to my children telling them what are some of the things they should do and shouldn't. Under one side is "do", and the other is "don't". Would I write "do's" and "don't's"? Cause ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Impugned and pugn'd

In Jingo, by Terry Pratchet, Lord Vetinari says: "... Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs have never been pugn'd in their entire lives." What about "pugn'd"? Is it just a contraction for ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Word contractions in Shakespeare's plays

In Shakespeare's plays it is common to find contracted words, such as "o'er", "e'en", "sulph'uous", "ta'en". Is it just a literary device or those words were actually pronounced (in day-to-day speech) ...
4
votes
4answers
823 views

Can “let us” always be used in place of “let's”?

Me: Perhaps we need to make a left turn at Albuquerque Him: Let us try that Now I would have said, "Let's try that". "Let us" sounds wrong to me in this instance. Is it? Are there ...
7
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3answers
5k views

Does “you're” also qualify as a valid contraction for “you were”?

If not, is there a way to write "you were" in a short form?
3
votes
6answers
20k views

“won't” vs. “wouldn't”

Are these two words interchangeable? How do you know when to use one or the other? For some sentences it is easy to know which one to use, but not for others. The type of sentences that are difficult ...
4
votes
8answers
3k views

Are contractions like “didn't” forbidden in written English? [duplicate]

Possible duplicate of: Using contracted forms (“don't”, “let's”) in a formal text Usage of contractions like “it's” and “that's” in textbooks Should ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

When should I use “your”, and when “you're”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Your” vs. “you're”: Why the confusion? Instead of saying "you're free to [...]," I've seen many people use "your free to [...]." I've seen ...
2
votes
2answers
337 views

Difference between “had [verb] not to” and “hadn't [verb] to”

When we talk about things that we intended to do, but didn't or will not do in the future, we can use past perfect. I did a question in a reference book: I hadn't intended to become a doctor, I ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Difference in pronunciation between “your” and “you're”?

I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
2
votes
7answers
1k views

Who/What decides if a word is “proper” English?

I was taught since kindergarten that "ain't" isn't a proper English word. I was wondering, who determines which words are acceptable and which words are not? Do words ever go from "improper" to ...
0
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0answers
100 views

“It isn't” versus “it's not” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “It isn't” versus “it's not” Is there any difference in meaning, or supposed impression when hearing it?
2
votes
1answer
457 views

Using “it's” vs. using “it is” at the end of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it's”? Why is it that the following sounds incorrect: "Would she know where it's?" ...
3
votes
2answers
350 views

When is it ok to create a contraction of words followed by “s”?

When is it correct to create a contraction of words followed by is? For instance is who’s a correct short form of who is?
12
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5answers
6k views

Using contracted forms (“don't”, “let's”) in a formal text

How compelled should I feel to use non-contracted forms (do not rather than don't and so on) when writing in a rather formal text, say an academic paper? In one case I am afraid to seem too stilted, ...