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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Other way to pronounce they'd

Is there another way to pronounce the word "they'd"? In this video (2:23), I think he pronounces it as "/ðed/ instead of /ðeɪd/. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXQQ94rg9ic Thank ...
Viet Hoang's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does Kipling use an apostrophe on 'rickshaw?

Kipling's short story The Phantom 'Rickshaw has, as we can see, a leading apostrophe on the word "rickshaw". Why does it have one? According to Wikipedia, "rickshaw" is directly ...
Tevildo's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
819 views

Is "don't" a particle of its own?

I noticed an oddity in the sentence Why don't you just do it?: Although I always thought of don't simply as of a short form of do not it seems to me as if this is not the case in this sentence. ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
171 views

Why isn't "I had to" contracted to "I'd to" unlike other auxiliary usage of the verb "had"?

We say "I had to leave," but not "I'd to leave." Why? This is also unlike other auxiliary usage of the verb "had" (e.g. in past perfect tense), so the difference is more ...
nayfaan's user avatar
  • 138
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Why did contractions (elimination of “e”) at the end of verbs disappear? [duplicate]

commonly seen in Early Modern English e.g. trimm’d, poliʃh’d extracted from a passage written in 1737 we are curious about why these verbs used to be spelled this way but aren’t anymore
Vicky's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Is it appropriate to contract text names in a possibly informal sense in an English literature essay? [closed]

I am writing a an essay comparing The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice in English (Australian English style), and to save on word count I wondered if it would be appropriate to refer to them, ...
user485234's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

What's the grammar of the song title "Baby I'm-a Want You"?

There is a famous song called Baby I'm-a Want You. The name sounds wrong. Why is it not "Baby I want you"? Auxiliary verb "am" and article "a" look excessive in this ...
Mia's user avatar
  • 37
4 votes
0 answers
47 views

Why does substituting a noun-verb with its contraction form seem awkward or grammatically incorrect? [duplicate]

I stumbled upon this strange problem. The following sentence is grammatically correct: It's better to be miserable and rich than it is to be miserable and poor. Let's replace the second "it is&...
user148298's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
239 views

Rule for when "it is" cannot be contracted to "it's"

"It is" cannot always be shortened to "it's". For example: She says freelancing is a dream job. It is, but there are several factors to consider, before taking the plunge. Here, it ...
Matt S.'s user avatar
  • 902
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can I contract "you is" to "you's"? [duplicate]

Not in the sense of "you are", but rather, I'm writing a poem for my girlfriend and I wrote this line: "Loving you's no hassle." I don't want to use anything incorrect, but I also ...
wncslao's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
24 views

"They've not" vs "They haven't" [duplicate]

They both mean the same thing. Is there a preferred context for either of them, and which should be used in which type of situation? Some examples: "They've not left the plane." "They ...
stickynotememo's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
72 views

Are there animacy restrictions on the use of contractions? [duplicate]

Are the examples (a) and (b) equally acceptable? (1a) That cop's very short and stout (1b) That cup's very short and stout (2a) Her spouse's been always attention-grabbing (2b) Her blouse's been ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 473
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

Sentence-final contractions [duplicate]

There are some pieces of inflection like the genitive marker that can attach to phrases (cf. [The man in the hall]’s taste in wallpaper is appalling) and so they sometimes behave like a contraction. ...
Zoltan's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
91 views

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 ...
Raghavendra Singh's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Are there rules against using a clitic in a sentence that's followed only 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&...
user453095's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
160 views

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 ...
meepyer's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
35 views

'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 ...
Roi Mulia's user avatar
  • 127
-2 votes
1 answer
36 views

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.
bmils's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
23 views

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 ...
Jakub Málek's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
264 views

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 ...
Apostolos's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
505 views

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?
Peter Nielsen's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

When not to use a contraction for "it's" [duplicate]

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?
cambraca's user avatar
  • 373
5 votes
1 answer
158 views

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 ...
Gregor's user avatar
  • 71
3 votes
2 answers
2k 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, ...
J_Kidd's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
818 views

Abbreviations vs. contractions. Do they differ in pronunciation or only in spelling?

Lexico and Imperial College London say 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 ...
john c. j.'s user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

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.
Sarah Pierson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
163 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'
ios's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
1k 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....
Arlen Cornejo's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
2k 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 &...
Nathaniel Solyn's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
47 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
157 views

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 ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
0 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,491
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

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 ...
Micah Windsor's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
466 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]
Bhaskar Subba's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
45 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 ...
Vicky Dev's user avatar
  • 499
0 votes
0 answers
68 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 ...
Dylrus2's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
723 views

‘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 ...
IllestknickaS Roboticalcoholic's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
34 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"?
user84614's user avatar
  • 115
1 vote
0 answers
226 views

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 ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,491
-1 votes
1 answer
70 views

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 ...
Key's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
2 answers
84 views

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 ...
Mark Morales II's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
11k views

is "weren't you..." considered grammatically correct? Because expanded, it would translate to "were not you..." [duplicate]

Same with "wouldn't you..." because it would directly mean "would not you..." If the goal is to communicate "would you not" or "were you not," is this a legitimate structure? Example: Weren't you ...
Will's user avatar
  • 43
0 votes
1 answer
99 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 ...
user378171's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
342 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 ...
Sidd Boketto's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
297 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" ...
Michael Blackburn's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
44 views

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 ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 2,818
2 votes
2 answers
443 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 ...
dfeuer's user avatar
  • 130
0 votes
2 answers
603 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), ...
Sean Donohue's user avatar

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