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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4
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5answers
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“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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

“They're not” vs. “they aren't”

How dissimilar are "they're not" and "they aren't"? Is it dependent on context or are these exactly the same? They are supposed to be going, but they are not. They are not going.
0
votes
1answer
352 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.
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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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
5k 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?" ...
1
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
votes
1answer
4k 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.
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the 18th century contraction “on't” survive phonologically in English today?

The February 18th-24th edition of The Economist has an article titled "Neurons v free will" in which the author, Anthony Gottlieb begins by quoting Dr. Johnson's statement about free will: "Sir ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
14
votes
5answers
7k 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, ...
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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
476 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
170 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
744 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
596 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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" ...
0
votes
1answer
3k 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
249 views
2
votes
3answers
406 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
1answer
789 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
359 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"?
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Do Americans say “don't” as often as the British?

this is really a question for Americans. When watching US TV or films, it's often my impression that, while using all the other contractions, Americans don't seem so keen on 'don't', but use 'do not' ...
0
votes
4answers
525 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 ...
2
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
746 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
411 views

“Let's”: similar contractions

First, I'm aware of this question. What I want to know is if there are other similar constructs, done by contracting a verb with "us".
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vote
2answers
9k 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
344 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
votes
3answers
3k 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
457 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
155 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Is there a word for the single letter contractions commonly used in store names? (see examples)

Is there a term for the single letter contractions as used in the following examples? Toys 'r' us Stop 'n' go Note: Trademarks above corrected for proper grammar.
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votes
3answers
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1
vote
3answers
143 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
390 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 ...
0
votes
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
506 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?" ...
7
votes
1answer
784 views
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “as oft” a valid contraction of “as often”? If it is, then why doesn't it have an apostrophe at the end?

Is "as oft" a valid contraction of "as often"? If it is, then why doesn't it have an apostrophe at the end?
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Is this usage of “aren't” proper English?

Aren't you going to go outside? My wife insists this is improper English, Hillbilly speak, she calls it. The proper way to ask, she says, is Are you going to go outside? I say it's the same as ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Contraction for 'are' with nouns

Is this correct? the candys 're in the box, the womens're at the car I know 'you're', 'we're', 'they're' are valid usages, but can it be used for nouns?
4
votes
2answers
488 views

Mixing contracted and uncontracted phrases in the same sentence

Is there anything wrong with mixing contracted with uncontracted phrases in the same sentence? Examples: I'm not sure it is possible. ("I'm" is contracted, but "it is" is not). I am not ...
5
votes
2answers
779 views

Usage of contractions like “it's” and “that's” in textbooks

Is it considered bad style to use abbreviations contractions like "it's" and "that's" (instead of spelling them out as "it is" and "that is") in a textbook or academic publication?
3
votes
1answer
23k views

Why is “will not” contracted as “won't”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is “won't” a contraction of? The Why is "cannot" spelled as one word? post brought back another oddity I noticed when learning English. The ...