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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2answers
20k views

Does “he's” mean both “he is” and “he has”? [closed]

Is it alright to use the same contraction, "He's", to mean both "He is" and "He has"? Examples: "He's angry." "He's been angry." "He's a beautiful house."
1
vote
1answer
478 views

Why does the word “never” not contain an apostrophe?

If never is a contraction of 'not ever' why does it not have an apostrophe, i.e. why is it not written n'ever rather than never? I can understand that the apostrophe has simply fallen out of use, but ...
11
votes
3answers
429 views

How was “ben't” used, and when did it cease to be used?

In Jane Austen's The Watsons, the maid of the titular family utters the following sentence: "Please, ma'am, master wants to know why he ben't to have his dinner?" I have never encountered ben't ...
3
votes
4answers
173 views

Why do not we ask negative questions without a contraction on the not after the verb?

I have found multiple questions touching on this but not a single one that has a comprehensive answer. The information is all there but in little bits. "Do you not" vs. "Don't ...
58
votes
12answers
25k views

Is “I'd've” proper use of the English language?

While reading a book, I came across the word I'd've, as in: I'd've argued against it. While it was obvious what it meant, it left me puzzled. Is I'd've a proper word?
1
vote
1answer
729 views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
11
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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 ...
30
votes
6answers
26k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Using a name as a contraction with “is”, syntax looks possessive?

"Bob is fat" Would it be proper to do "Bob's fat"? To me, this looks possessive, as if we're talking about his fat rather than using "fat" as an adjective. What's the proper way to do this?
1
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1answer
36 views

How do you form the plural of an elided/contracted noun?

The noun, without elision, is "beatings". Singular, elided, is "beatin'" (note the apostrophe). So what's the plural? I considered "beatins'" (note the apostrophe) and "beatin's" but neither of them ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

I know “of” sounds like “ov”. Does “I've” sound like “If”?

I was studying connected speech and I read when we say for example I've finished my homework we pronounce the 've and f in finished as only one sound. Is it only in this case or whenever I ...
1
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3answers
87 views

Using contractions in questions

I am very sure about the use of contractions in positive and negative sentences. But I am not sure about their use in questions. I've seen many examples of the use of contractions in questions, but I ...
2
votes
2answers
7k 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"?
4
votes
2answers
306 views

Are what-cha and arent-cha examples of elision?

Are these words examples of elision? What effect do they create? If a child says them what does this suggest about their language development? Thanks for any help!!
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Nonstandard spellings for dialects

Are there standard ways of indicating dialect, as "I 'aven't," I asked 'is name," and especially "It couldn't 'a' 'appened." Can "have" be indicated with just "a"?
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Usage of “tum” in English speaking countries, other than the UK

I'm sure I've heard tummy used in American English and the English spoken in commonwealth countries as a sort of euphemism for stomach. I'm not sure so much how common it is to hear it reduced to tum, ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

History of assimilation for going to be

When did the assimilation of going to be into gonna be start being used?
0
votes
0answers
56 views

When is it acceptable to use “I've” by itself? [duplicate]

I have a friend from a foreign country who for years has used "I've" in a way that sounds funny to me. He often writes sentences like "I've an exam tomorrow." Is he correct in this usage? I have ...
9
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
152 views

Contraction [SUBJECT] + is with proper noun ending in s?

The possessive form (the car of Jesus) would be Jesus' car. If we say Jesus is 11. Would it also be Jesus' 11? Jesus's 11?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

When did “y'all” become improper?

It is my understanding that the contraction y'all was considered correct American English in times past. At what point was this word removed from valid American English?
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Contracting “I should have” to “I'd've”

I know that for "I would have" the contraction "I’d have" or "I’d’ve" is a lot more frequently used in everyday conversation. But is the same true for "I should have"? Is "I’d've" also prefered?
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Contractions: Are “I would’ve” and “I’d have” both equally permissible?

Instead of “I would have done something”, are both of these versions ok? I would’ve done something. I’d have done something.
9
votes
1answer
503 views

When did “ain't” become slang?

In Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now, there are several places where "ain't" is used instead of "am not", such as: "I ain't afraid of him, if you mean that," continued Lord Nidderdale. — ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does “Why doesn't it work?” become “Why does it not work?”

When you uncontract doesn't in "Why doesn't it work?" the not moves to "Why does it not work?" This confuses me even more when I use a longer phrase instead of the pronoun it like below: Why ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Let us or Let's when demanding.

What to use when you are not exhorting a group and yourself to go, but demanding a third person to let you go? Can “Let's go! " also be used"or only “Let us go!"?
28
votes
4answers
11k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
1
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3answers
78 views

Contractions regarding the word 'it'

My question is: Is there a contraction for the phrase 'it was'? Would this contraction be 't'was'? - Thanks
17
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4answers
7k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
722 views

Correct way to spell “young'un”? [closed]

As slang, this phrase: Since I was a young'un... Is there an accepted way to abbreviate the last word there?
-2
votes
4answers
590 views

“There is” vs. “there are” when contracted [duplicate]

Unless I am mistaken, when referring to a single thing or entity, one can say there is or there's (the contraction of the same). When referring to more than one of something, the correct wording is ...
2
votes
5answers
20k views

Is “That’ll” a real word?

Is the contraction from that will to that’ll an actual word or not?
11
votes
3answers
427 views

Expanding a contraction, where the expansion is not as it would seem

Consider these two sentences, one with a contraction, one without: I didn't check my voicemail. I did not check my voicemail. didn't is expanded to did not. Now consider: Why didn't ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Apostrophe usage in “your order's been dispatched”

Your order's been dispatched. Is this contraction (not to indicate plural, but as a contraction of "order has") correct? Or would it be better to just simply write: Your order has been ...
3
votes
2answers
379 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?
28
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it's”?

I heard this lyric in a song the other day and it just sounded so wrong that I assumed it must be incorrect grammar, but I can't find any specific prohibition that applies. That's what it's. ...
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votes
1answer
229 views

We'll vs well used in this sentence? [closed]

Is We'll or well used here: _, that works. _, I've never done that before.
3
votes
4answers
11k 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"?
30
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession?

I feel uncomfortable saying sentences like the following: "I've a car" instead of "I have a car" "They've a great time" instead of "They have a great time" "He's a pen" instead of "He has a pen" ...
0
votes
1answer
251 views

meaning and use of “gotta” [closed]

I often heard people say the word "gotta". I have read in this web site that gotta is a contraction of "I have got to" and that that phrase means "must", is my understanding correct? Regarding the ...
30
votes
13answers
11k views

Can a word be contracted twice (e.g. “I'ven't”)?

I've seen a contraction of two words. I can't see why it wouldn't be possible to contract twice. Is it possible and how should it be punctuated? Update: Ok, to sum up the answers so far This ...
-1
votes
1answer
139 views

Does “it'll've” exist, and if not, why not? [duplicate]

From what I can glean, it'll and I've exist as standard contractions, but I am unsure of whether it'll've either exists or is acceptable. "It will have" should be able to be reduced to "it'll've", ...
2
votes
3answers
18k views

How do you abbreviate “Government”?

As far as I can tell there are eight ways to abbreviate or write the contracted form "government". gov or Gov gov. or Gov. gov't or Gov't govt. or Govt. (with the full stop/period) Are any of ...
-3
votes
1answer
3k views

“No, I don't” or “No, I do not” in responding English questions

Consider: A: Do you like ice cream? B: No, I don't. Usually in a grammar book when you answer someone's question with negation you'll use shortened answer as in "I don't". I know you can ...
0
votes
1answer
248 views

Are “kinda”, “sorta”, “oughta” and “sposta” acceptable in formal writing?

I get that sorta, kinda, sorta-kinda (this one I quite like though) oughta and sposta imitate speech but it still annoys me to find them "in print", especially when the overall tone is formal. ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

How prevalent is this reversal of “yes” and “no”? [duplicate]

Example: Aren't you going to the store? Where I am from, the correct answer indicating I am going to the store is yes. The contraction "not" is ignored. Is this sort of confusion prevalent ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Explanation for “them's”

Recently someone said to me: Them's the rules I thought he had the sentence wrong, but as it turns out it is slang. I am learning English as a second language and I would really appreciate if ...
19
votes
3answers
43k 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?
-1
votes
1answer
153 views

Is this a portmanteau, contraction, or perhaps both?

I have chosen to edit this post because it apparently has offended some of the more sensitive among us. While, personally, I feel this should prompt discourse rather than down votes, I do not wish to ...