*English Contractions*

English contractions are usually used in spoken English, but not in formal written English. However, written English is becoming more informal (emails, chats, etc.) and you will often see these forms in print. Many students battle to identify them in conversation so I have decided to include most of them in today’s Tip.

Don’t worry if you find them difficult to hear at first, you will recognize them once you know what to listen for! We (Gringos in Brazil) suffer with the same thing here in Brazil. Imagine looking up “Como ce ta ?” in the dictionary……..the answer “To legal, cara!” is just as confusing for us!


Positive Contractions

I’mI am — Example: I’m waiting for my friend.
I’llI will — Example: I’ll see you tomorrow.
I’dI had / I would — Example: I’d better leave now. OR I’d already eaten by the time he arrived.
I’veI have — Example: I’ve worked here for many years.

You’reYou are — Example: You’re joking!
You’llYou will — Example: You’ll be sorry!
You’dYou had / would — Example: You’d left before he arrived, hadn’t you? OR You’d better hurry up.
You’veYou have — Example: You’ve been to London many times.

He’sHe is / has — Example: He’s on the phone now. OR He’s been playing tennis since 10 this morning.
He’llHe will — Example: He’ll be here tomorrow.
He’dHe had / would — Example: He’d prefer to meet you later in the week. OR He’d finished before the meeting began.

She’sShe is / has — Example: She’s watching TV at the moment. OR She’s had a lot of trouble lately.
She’llShe will — Example: She’ll be at the meeting.
She’dShe had / would — Example: She’d been working for two hours when he telephoned. OR She’d like to have a glass of wine.

It’sIt is / has — Example: It’s been long time since we saw each other last. OR It’s very difficult to concentrate.
It’llIt will — Example: It’ll be here soon.
It’dIt would / had — Example: It’d be difficult to say no. OR It’d been a long time.

We’reWe are — Example: We’re working hard on the Smith account this week.
We’llWe will — Example: We’ll begin when he arrives.
We’dWe had / would — Example: We’d better hurry up if we want to catch the train. OR We’d finished the meeting before you arrived.
We’veWe have — Example: We’ve been waiting for you!

They’reThey are — Example: They’re studying German this afternoon.
They’llThey will — Example: They’ll finish soon if they concentrate.
They’dThey had / would — Example: They’d eaten their lunch when she stopped by to say hello. OR They’d rather not come to the meeting.
They’veThey have — Example: They’ve just purchased a new home.

There’sThere is / has — Example: There’s a hotel in the next town. OR There’s been too much rain recently!
There’llThere will — Example: There’ll be a price to pay!
There’dThere had / would — Example: There’d better be a good explanation for this. OR There’d be some reason for that.

That’sThat is / has — Example: That’s been on my mind lately. OR That’s why I can’t come.
That’llThat will — Example: That’ll happen sooner than you think.
That’dThat had / would — Example: That’d be the reason why. OR That’d happened before my time.

Negative Contractions

aren’tare not — Example: They aren’t coming next week.
can’tcan not — Example: I can’t understand you.
couldn’tcould not — Example: He couldn’t get his shoes on!
didn’tdid not — Example: We didn’t visit Rome. We went straight to Florence.
doesn’tdoes not — Example: He doesn’t play golf.
don’tdo not — Example: They don’t like cheese.
hadn’thad not — Example: I hadn’t thought of that!
hasn’thas not — Example: She hasn’t telephoned yet.
isn’tis not — Example: She isn’t listening to you.
mustn’tmust not — Example: Children mustn’t play with fire.
needn’tneed not — Example: You needn’t worry about that.
shouldn’tshould not — Example: You shouldn’t smoke cigarettes.
wasn’twas not — Example: I wasn’t joking when I said that.
weren’twere not — Example: They weren’t invited to the party.
won’twill not — Example: I won’t be able to attend the conference.
wouldn’twould not — Example: She wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up at the party.

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