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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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 ...
2
votes
2answers
274 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 ...
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2answers
4k 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?
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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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1answer
407 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.
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
1k views

“There is no rule” vs. “there isn't rule”

What are the differences between the two sentences below: There is no rule. There isn't rule.
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3answers
15k views

Were contractions less common in olden days?

We just viewed the new movie True Grit. The language of the characters was more formal sounding than we are used to, largely because of the absence of contractions. Is this historically accurate? Do ...
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4answers
247 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 ...
2
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1answer
2k 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?
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3answers
8k 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?
9
votes
2answers
468 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
192 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 ...
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3answers
997 views

Using abbreviations incorrectly?

In English it's considered correct to ask I do it like this, don't I? or Why can't I go? whereas "don't" is an abbreviation of "do not" and "can't" is an abbreviation of "cannot". ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
15
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
436 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 ...
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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 ...
4
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
8k 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
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1answer
367 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
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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 ...
5
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
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1answer
178 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
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1answer
297 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
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5answers
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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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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 ...
3
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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.
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2answers
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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
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4answers
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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 ...
14
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5answers
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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, ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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votes
2answers
525 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
172 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 ...
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2answers
811 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
656 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
103 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
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2answers
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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
84 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
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1answer
252 views
2
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3answers
449 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
872 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
392 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"?
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5answers
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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
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4answers
585 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
949 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 ...