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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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 "should've",...
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2answers
12k 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"?
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2answers
17k 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. ...
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2answers
442 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 "we'd've"...
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4answers
5k 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
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2answers
781 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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4answers
17k 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"?
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4answers
9k views

What does “ain't” mean? [closed]

What does the contraction ain't mean? Is it appropriate to use it in formal settings?
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3answers
1k 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?
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4answers
849 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 ...
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3answers
29k 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 "...
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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 ...
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1answer
180 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 "impugned"...
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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) ...
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4answers
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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 contractions ...
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3answers
10k 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?
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6answers
62k 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 ...
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8answers
6k 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 contractions ...
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3answers
167 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 ...
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2answers
855 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 ...
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7answers
8k 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?
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7answers
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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 ...
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0answers
104 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?
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1answer
750 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?" ...
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2answers
531 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?
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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
15k 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...
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1answer
14k 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.
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6answers
12k 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 ...
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1answer
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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?
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1answer
2k 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?
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
489 views

“Let's”: similar contractions?

First, I'm aware of this question: "Let's" vs. "lets": which is correct? What I want to know is if there are other similar constructions formed by contracting a verb with "us"....
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3answers
2k 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". However,...
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5answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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“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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2answers
1k 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?
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3answers
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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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6answers
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' ...
10
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3answers
26k views

“Do you not” vs. “Don't you”

I live in the UK and I mostly hear people saying Don't you..., but some people say: Do you not...? What is the difference and which one is more correct? You can put any example really. Something like:...
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3answers
3k 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 say,...
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1answer
259 views

Contraction for “owe on”; would it be “owe'n” or “ow'n”?

What would the contraction for owe on be, owe'n or ow'n?
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3answers
4k views

Should contractions be avoided in formal emails?

In a formal email of the kind where you begin with "Dear Mr. Surname" and finish with "Best regards", for example, should we use the following contractions? Or are the non contracted forms more ...
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4answers
25k views

What phrase is “o'clock” contracting?

I have been intrigued by the word o'clock since I learned English. Although there is an equivalent to this word in my native language (Spanish en punto meaning on point or on the dot) I want to know ...
3
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1answer
45k 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 contraction ...
42
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6answers
52k views

What is “won't” a contraction of?

"Don't", "wouldn't", "couldn't" and "isn't" are all contractions of "do not", "would not", "could not" and "is not"... So what's "won't" a contraction of? It appears to be "will not", but if so, why ...
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7answers
1k views

“Your” vs. “you're”: Why the confusion?

I have seen many comments on different blogs and forums where English native speakers spelled you're as your. I'm not a native speaker, but I know and understand the difference between the two. Why is ...
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2answers
27k views

Is “could've” or “should've” standard English?

As the title says — is "could've" or "should've" standard English or is it slang and should correctly be spelled "could have" and "should have"?
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3answers
161k views

“Let's” vs. “lets”: which is correct?

Say I'm promoting a product. Which is correct? [Product] let's you [do something awesome]. [Product] lets you [do something awesome]. Or neither?