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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15
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2answers
4k 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
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
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" ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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
4k 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
469 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
459 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
27k views

Is “That’ll” a real word?

Is the contraction from that will to that’ll an actual word or not?
1
vote
1answer
921 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
421 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
3k 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
640 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
11k 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
1k 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
9k 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
12k 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
384 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
4
votes
2answers
578 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
1k 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
14k 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"?
4
votes
3answers
5k views

What does “ain't” mean?

What does the contraction ain't mean? Is it appropriate to use it in formal settings?
2
votes
3answers
914 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
votes
4answers
663 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
16k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
80k views

“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
169 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
1k 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
votes
3answers
7k 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?
4
votes
6answers
36k 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
5k 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
149 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
471 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
6k 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
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
101 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
595 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
445 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?
15
votes
5answers
10k 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, ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

“It isn't” vs. “it's not”

Is one stronger than the other? More correct? Just curious, one of the many abstract things to pop into my head on the drive home today...
7
votes
1answer
9k 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.
11
votes
6answers
8k views

Is “Don't you know? ” the same as “Do not you know?”?

Well, we know don't is the same as do not, right? Therefore, can I say "Do not you know?", instead of "Don't you know?"? Well, I know that chances are I can't do that, but technically that should be ...
7
votes
1answer
986 views

With the phrase “good night” do you have to use an apostrophe before the word “night” if you are to omit the use of “good?”

Am I actually contracting the phrase by omitting "good" from it, hence the need for the use of an apostrophe?
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?
24
votes
6answers
69k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
440 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".
2
votes
3answers
1k 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". ...
5
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
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.