I took an English test the other day, however, our English teacher contested the "where'll" I have used in the following sentence:

Where'll they go? Not far away I hope.

After then doubting myself, a quick search has directed me to a dictionary page where where'll is listed as a normal contraction.

I plan on confronting this teacher about it as I have heard from other students that the teacher tends to do things "her own way".

Thanks in advance!

  • There is nothing technically ungrammatical about where'll. But, stylistically, it should not be used in formal writing. Nov 19, 2018 at 16:51
  • You took an English test the other day. When referring to a time in the past, don't use the present perfect.
    – TimR
    Nov 19, 2018 at 17:21
  • 1
    The contraction where'll is not universal. It is not used in the dialect of American English that I speak, for example, which is spoken in Washington D.C., eastern Maryland, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey. I'd like to know where it's used, if at all.
    – TimR
    Nov 19, 2018 at 17:23
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo I hear it all the time in the Midwestern US. Wouldn't write it formally, though. (It fits right in with where're and where'd for where are and where did, also common here in speech but not writing. Well, actually I probably have texted where'd, as in "hey, where'd you go?" sent to my spouse in a big store.)
    – 1006a
    Nov 19, 2018 at 18:23
  • @1006a: Does it rhyme with squirrel?
    – TimR
    Nov 19, 2018 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


The contraction is sometimes heard in speech but is rarely rendered as a contraction in writing. Some dictionaries do list it and it is sometimes used. Searchin ngrams shows it is rare in comparison to other contractions.

I would suggest you should not use "where'll" in writing, except when quoting direct speech.

So you can say

"Where'll he go?" he asked, "Not far I 'ope".

(Notice in this sample I've also shown a "dropped h".) When not directly quoting you should use "where will" and "hope".

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