For present tense (declarative) of lexical verbs (to be) we have contractions for all pronouns:

  • (I am = I’m. You are = you’re. He is = he’s. She is = she’s. It is = it’s. We are = we’re. They are = they’re.).

The same is for the future tense:

  • (I'll, you'll, he'll, she'll, it'll, we'll they'll).

My question is about the past tense (declaratives) of lexical verbs (was and were). Do we have contractions for them? If we do, what are they? and If not, why? Using google I didn't find a clear answer to my question.


2 Answers 2


None that I can think of in common usage besides negative contractions (wasn't, weren't etc.) although I think you were asking about pronoun-verb contractions.

Very rarely I've heard the lexical form of have in a sentence like "I'd a friend once" (I once had a friend), although that's a relatively obscure way of phrasing that sentence, and one which lends it a sort of whimisical British tone.

  • Clearly, there are none.
    – Lambie
    May 29, 2021 at 14:12

Contractions of phrases like "she was" or "they were" aren't commonly used. It makes sense - they'd probably be undistinguishable from contractions of "she is" and "they are" and cause many a confusion...

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