Questions tagged [contractions]

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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Order of Precedence in Contractions by Elision? [duplicate]

Just curious: While using contractions like you're or isn't, if there are two possible ways a word can be contracted, what is the order of precedence? Say, for example, the sentence is "you are ...
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Are there rules against using a clitic in a sentence thats only followed by a verb?

I was just texting someone about what they were up to and wanted to finish the conversation by asking them to be careful. So I said "Please be careful." to which they responded "I'll be&...
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When is the "t" pronounced in won’t, don’t, can’t?

I am a speaker of Canadian English. I have noticed that when people pronounce won’t, don’t, and can’t, often when speaking normally, they don’t release the “t”, as in connected speech. The standard ...
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'Start Use <App Name>' VS 'Start Using <App Name>' [closed]

We are working on a paywall page within our app. The app is called Retouch. We were wondering what is the right way to showcase the title of the paywall. Start Use Retouch Start Using Retouch Is ...
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contraction of annex is to annex's

If I want to say the annex is soon to be hijacked, can I use a contraction: The annex's soon to be hijacked thanks.
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Is there a way to create a contraction between any noun and the word "is"?

It may just be due to where I grew up, but I'm used to hearing phrases such as: Amanda's out by the palm tree. This would be interpreted as: Amanda is out by the palm tree. However, I'm not so ...
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2 votes
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Contracted forms and their limitations [closed]

Are there any limitations as to contracted forms of auxiliaries in English? In other words, can we only use contracted forms after personal pronouns or we can also use them after nouns such as in: I'm ...
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Single-word contractions

How could I describe the following two categories of single-word contractions in the least words possible? A) those that cannot be pronounced the way they are written, and therefore are used only in ...
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Is "You're not" or "You aren't" better for contraction usage of "You are not"? [duplicate]

Basically the title; is it better to use "You're not" or "You aren't" in place of "You are not" in formal writing?
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2 votes
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When not to use a contraction for "it's"

It's not as important as it's in this other instance. I'm pretty sure that's wrong and that last "it's" should be "it is". My question is: why? What's the rule?
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What or who is the source of the proscription on contractions in formal writing?

I couldn't find this exact question, though obviously there are many related questions around using contractions. I write academic work in a field where contractions are accepted but rare, and no ...
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Is “not’ve” a valid [𝒔𝒊𝒄] contraction in either of spoken English or written English – or both or neither?

My English teacher has recently explained to me that not’ve is an accepted way to write the two spoken words not have, and he gave me this example of using it: Why that machine is not working? Oh, ...
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Abbreviations vs. contractions. Do they differ in pronunciation or only in spelling?

Lexico and Imperial College London says that the difference between abbreviations and contractions is that contractions omit letters in the middle and not in the end, hence Dr, for example, is a ...
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Can “it is” always be shortened to “it’s”? [duplicate]

For example, can we change The car is blue, but the truck next to it is red. into The car is blue, but the truck next to it’s red.
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Do I say "Chris's being annoying" or do contractions not work in this scenario? [closed]

I'm just confused on how the "is" contraction would work on words that end in 's'
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How to contract "good one"? [closed]

Does anyone here know how to contract "good one"? I have seen it written as "good'un", but that doesn't make much sense to me; as I understand it, the apostrophe is there in place ...
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2 answers
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Can someone respond to a question by just saying "I´ll" instead of "I will"? Why or why not? [duplicate]

My friend keeps on responding to questions by just saying "I´ll". This doesn´t seem grammatically correct to me. However I would like to know what would be the proper use of that contraction....
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Use of wasn't vs was not in a formal sentence

In the following sentence : The figure was tall, bespectacled, although in spite of the opacity of the glasses it wasn’t immediately clear whether or not he truly was blind. I am told the use of &...
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Is the phrase "I'm afraid" interchangeable with "I am afraid"?

I don't think I've ever seen the phrase/idiom used with the non-contracted "I am". If it's not interchangeable, would it be odd to see that phrase in a poem where there aren't any other ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Why can't we say "... of its"?

In a comment on the question Is there any rule regarding when not to use the pattern "noun phrase + of + possessive pronoun"?, such as "a friend of his", John Lawler writes First ...
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Weak forms of HAVE

According to Longman Pronunciation Dictionary HAVE: The weak form /v/ is used only after a vowel (when it is often written as the contraction ’ve), or in very fast speech at the beginning of a ...
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Creative writing in intentionally archaic language: parallelism in abnormal contractions

I hope this is on topic here. I am revising an original poem. No, I am not posting it or asking for a critique. I am intentionally using old-fashioned language. I would like to know if the concept of ...
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1 answer
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Contraction of Have/Has/Had

Can I use the contraction after a proper noun? Please look at this sentence. Anu'd been living with her parents and two elder brothers. [For Informal Context]
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Breakdown and understand sentences containing contradictory(or somewhat opposite sounding) phrases

While I was reading today about the items that are sold in a 7-eleven, I bumped into this a sentence(5th sentence from top) like below on this page: Because Twizzlers ingredients do not include ...
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Can you use a contraction on a compound subject?

For example, it is perfectly normal to write "He's going to the store" but would writing "Bill and she've already left" or similar NOUN and NOUN'xx subjects? To me, it seems ...
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-4 votes
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‘Twas good until ‘twasn’t

Since society generally seems to want 2 condense & abbreviate the English language, why don’t we use the words “‘twas” and “‘twasn’t” (which is not even a recognized word, btw!!) more often than ...
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Can 's be used to mean was? [duplicate]

Can 's be used as a contraction of was? For example, can "maybe she's born that way" mean "maybe she was born that way"?
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Phonological process triggering <I'on't> for "I don't"

Mostly in AAVE, and mainly in the sentence "I'on't know", e.g. here, here, here, here, and even y'on't. However, I am not aware of which process triggered such a pronunciation. EDIT: A related ...
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How I can use verb 'Wish' correctly?

I thought that verb 'wish' we use to tell another person success or joy, etc. But I saw the sentence: I wish I could, but I don't want to. Here it's being used about my regrets, isn't it? How ...
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Can you make contractions in this way?

Are these sentences grammatically correct? "When you jog is a great time to listen to audio books." --> "When you jog's a great time to listen to audio books." "The way I hear you talk to your ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why does the ' in "it's" matter?

I understand that it shows that there is a contraction. This is helpful for understanding for neologism-like contractions, but the contraction of "it is" is so common you just read it the same as its ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Does the “a” of “I'ma” extend to other pronouns?

Consider “I'ma do this” (as in “I am going to do this”). How does the a in I'ma extend in usage? Does anyone have any usage where it's used with other personal pronouns? I heard in a song recently ...
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What is this mood and tense of "I have to agree?"

A non-native English speaker posted a comment: "I've to agree." At first, I thought it was a typo, but then realised the expansion "I have to agree" is (seems?) correct. So why is "I've to agree" ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Are there examples in poetry of previously being contracted to prev'ously?

I'm curious if there are any examples in poetry of the word previously being contracted to three syllables, by contracting it to prev'ously, or some variant spelling. It would seem that we are keeping ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why does this contraction sound wrong?

My cousin wrote the following today: Never would I've believed. The use of "I've" here, rather than "I have", sounds extremely strange to me. Is it actually incorrect? If so, is there some sort of ...
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Should contractions be used with first names?

I understand that the apostrophe character ' is used to indicate missing characters, e.g. it's => It is. It is commonplace to use contractions in surnames, such as O'Reilly (of), or D'Artagnan (De), ...
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Do native people pronounce "it is on the table" as "ɪt sɑːn ðə ˈteɪbl" or "ɪt zɑːn ðə ˈteɪbl"?

Sometimes, when I watch American films, I often hear people say "ɪt zɑːn ðə ˈteɪbl" (it is on the table). I learned in textbook that "it is" can be contracted as "it's" and since "t" is voiceless so ...
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Verb contractions with thou

I know there are a lot of commonly accepted contractions (verb + not): aren't, haven't, isn't, don't, won't, shan't etc. But do the contractions for art not, hast not, dost not, wilt not, shalt not ...
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Will you grab - we'you grab [closed]

I was watching a film with subtitles, and the phrase: "Will you grab her blanket?" sounded like "We'you graber blanket". I'm Ok with "graber", but can we drop "l"-sound in "will you"?
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is it mandatory to use contractions in tag questions and the like?

Example 1: The weather is hot, isn't it? vs.: The weather is hot, is it not? Example 2: Aren't you going to study tonight? vs.: Are you not going to study tonight? Apart from ...
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What is the Origin of '' 'sup? ''

Sup is a contraction or aphetic of the older term ''what's up?'', Does anyone know how it has originated?
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Is it okay to contract "dog is running" to "dog's running"? [duplicate]

Are the following contractions okay to use: The man's working on the roof for The man is working on the roof The dog's running behind the ball for The dog is running behind the ball
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16 votes
1 answer
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Can “does” be contracted? [closed]

In conversation sometimes I’ll say something like this: What’s that do? which uses “s” as a contraction for “does”. Is this a “real” contraction, or is it incorrect usage of a contraction?
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1 vote
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Successive contractibles: Example - "It's not" versus "It isn't"

My apologies if this has been asked before. Consider a simple model sentence like It is not good. Is it better to contract the first pair of words as It's not good. Or the second pair as ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why do some early modern English writers use an apostrophe in art (ar't)?

For example, in Verses upon the duke of Buckinghams returne from the Ile of Rees (https://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/lessons/lesson1/index.html) the poet spells "art" as "ar't" in the phrase "...
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What is the proper contraction for “should not have” [duplicate]

I’ve been struggling with this one for a while, and it’s something I’ve tried typing/ writing on numerous occasions but it never looks correct in my mind. When speaking, I tend to say “should not have”...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between contraction and elision? [closed]

So, what is the difference between the terms? Is it right to say that elision is a specific case of contraction? Another version I've I ran onto was that these were slightly different terms as ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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contractions as "half" words? [closed]

There's a quirk that I keep seeing in Worm : Whenever the author wants to draw attention to very short, dramatic statements, he refers to them as being "two and a half words." Examples: I'm ...
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6 votes
3 answers
366 views

Amn’t - where does it occur in the US?

We moved to CA from Norfolk, VA as children. Our parents and grandparents are college educated yet we four all said “amn’t,” to the shock of our CA neighbors. We no longer say it but I wondered why we ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a contraction for non-exclusive or?

I find that often, in technical writing, I want to specify that or is non-exclusive: or ≠ xor; or = and/or. (Stylistically, "and or" is terrible and gets tiresome quickly;) As an example of the type ...
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