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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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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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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293 views

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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1answer
112 views

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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1answer
71 views

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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1answer
123 views

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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2answers
65 views

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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281 views

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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33 views

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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
155 views

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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1answer
38 views

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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33 views

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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32 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
81 views

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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2answers
147 views

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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104 views

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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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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223 views

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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202 views

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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125 views

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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1answer
245 views

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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1answer
63 views

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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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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689 views

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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2k views

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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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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454 views

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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1answer
961 views

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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1answer
104 views

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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1answer
388 views

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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90 views

HAVE (negation, contraction)

Why is (1) considered correct, but not (2) ? (1) This would have been such had it not been for... (2) This would have been such hadn't it been for... P.S.: Besides, should there be commas as ...
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Can contractions always be used to replace their original words? [duplicate]

I was thinking about how "I am" can stand as a sentence but wondered why "I'm" doesn't sound right. I kind of came to the conclusion that noun-verb contractions (ex. I'm, they're, it's, she'll) can't ...
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1answer
221 views

Can you use two contractions in a row in a sentence? [closed]

Can you use two contractions in a row? For example, could you say, "Let's don't do that"?
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3answers
205 views

Why does "there's" work as a contraction for plural items? [duplicate]

While writing recently, I came across a situation where a character said: There's a lot of chandeliers in here. When editing, I realized that I wanted to have the sentence sound more formal, and ...
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1answer
345 views

Can the contracted form of "will" be used after "and"?

Is it correct to write: hope you enjoyed the demo and'll consider the idea Or I must all the way use the entire word for "will" in that phrase? Thank you in advance for clarifications
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342 views

How is "iff" different from "if"

So I just discovered iff thinking it was a typo. But after looking it up and reading other answers on here it is a valid contraction of words if and only if. Much like XOR in a mathematical domain. ...
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10k views

Is "this'll" considered proper English?

I understand that certain words when used over time are then embraced into the English lexicon. Is "this'll" one of those words? Examples: This'll do. This'll stay in place. As an insert, ...
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If “I Will!” vs “I’ll!” [duplicate]

I told my friend “Enjoy your coffee.” and she answered “I’ll!” It took me a second to realise it was “I will!” Why is the first one wrong and the second version not? I know it’s wrong but I don’t ...
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1answer
43 views

Is it wrong to use use contractions of have when not for the purpose of forming a past tense sentence? [duplicate]

For example, I believe the following to be acceptable: "I've had no issues in the past with this client" However, the following is what I'm unsure of: "I've $16 in my bank account." I've ...
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239 views

How to negate the double modal construction "might could" (and others)?

I have relatives from the southern U.S., and they often use double modal verbs in their speech, like "I might could go to the market". I understand that this isn't considered standard, but it got me ...

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