Are all those correct uses in English or is it just for explaining and not correct for writing on tests or exams?

Would it sound more fluent to write

Ex, Y'all, I'll, They're.

instead of

Example, you all, I will, they are.

  • Ex short for “example”

  • y'all or ya'all short for “you all”

  • I'll short for “I will”.

  • they're short for “they are”.

Would it look more fluent to write the above with or without contractions?

Are the terms above used in fluent English or slang English?

For IELTS Exam

  • are those short words used in English Langage or slang would they pass in a test if I use them all I'll in that will is shorten to two Ls instead of will in an exam I meant like IELTS etc – user85483 Nov 22 '18 at 15:37
  • Please edit your question for grammar and punctuation. It still does not make sense. – Lambie Nov 22 '18 at 15:47
  • punctuation is( . ! ? , ) and so I am asking about I'll, they're , Y'all , Ex as true uses for English or is it just shortcuts that aren't meant for exams – user85483 Nov 22 '18 at 15:54
  • See my edit. Now it makes sense. "ex as true" is not understandable. But why are you posting this phrase: Note for an IELTS Exam? – Lambie Nov 22 '18 at 15:56
  • you just sidetracked my whole topic :/ – user85483 Nov 22 '18 at 16:06

The IELTS website has information about their tests. For the General Writing Test they say:

In Task 1, test takers are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.


In Task 2, test takers are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
General Training Writing: What is the IELTS Writing test?

They say the following about the Academic Writing test:

Responses to both tasks must be written in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style.
Academic Writing: What is the IELTS Writing test?

Contractions and abbreviations like the ones you list are not formal or academic, so you shouldn't use them in the Academic Writing test. You can (probably should) use informal language if you're writing a "personal" letter in the General Writing test (task 1). Task 2 of General Writing is supposed to be "slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay" according to an official teacher's guide.

All of the words you mentioned are informal. Contractions (including "they're" and "I'll") have rules to when you can use them. For example, you can't use them at the end of a sentence (see this question).

I consider "ex" to be very informal. As a matter of style, I would recommend avoiding using it. It doesn't make anyone's writing sound more natural, at least in my opinion.

"Y'all" is something only used in the southern US, so I would recommend against using it (unless you're from that area). It's also very informal.

  • +1 but there's also the IELTS General [English]. My bet is the OP is studying for that one. In informal letters, contractions and idioms are acceptable and appropriate. – Mari-Lou A Nov 23 '18 at 7:27
  • It would be highly artificial to completely exclude contractions from expository writing. I'll is probably one of the most common examples, and not particularly informal in modern English. There are other good reasons not to use the first person in essays, of course, but I would expect a large part of the test involves knowing how and when to properly use contractions. – Andrew Nov 23 '18 at 7:50
  • @Andrew the IELTS test focuses on Reading and Writing, Listening, and Speaking. I have always told private students to avoid slang, idioms and contractions in "formal" writing and that also includes essays. It is the same piece of advice supplied by Cambridge in numerous coursebooks. But if the writing task is an informal letter/email to a friend then a candidate should use the above (maybe minus slang). It is expected. The same applies to speaking, contractions can be used. I would, however, advise candidate not to use idioms etc. unless they are v. confident of their appropriacy and usage. – Mari-Lou A Nov 23 '18 at 8:13
  • P.S. I have never, ever in 30 years of helping Italians obtain a pass grade at school or pass any Cambridge exam seen the expression "y'all" in any reading comprehension task. Never. To be avoided in writing and used in speaking only if it relates to the question being asked. – Mari-Lou A Nov 23 '18 at 8:25
  • @Mari-LouA I expect it's probably a question of damage control. If there's no benefit to using contractions, and only the possibility of making it worse -- then sure, don't bother. But, still, it's a little unnatural never to use standard contractions, such as the "it's" in this sentence. "Y'all" is a colloquialism, not a standard contraction, and should only be used by someone with that dialect. – Andrew Nov 23 '18 at 8:30

All the forms below are used in speech: Not in writing. Questions 2 and 3 are about contracted verb forms. Contracted verb forms are a feature of speech. Though some contractions are seen in writing, they are best avoided in formal writing.

1) Is y'all or ya'all short for you all? Answer: You all is southern and southwestern regional American slang. It is used in places like Texas.

2) Is I'll short for I will? Answer: These are called contracted forms of the verb. They are used when speaking or in dialogue. Formal English calls for I will. As in: I will discuss this definition later on in this essay.

3) Is they're short for they are?

Again, "they're" is a contracted form. It is used in speech. See 2) above.

Mastering contracted forms and verb tags are a challenge for English language learners. Some publications use limited contracted forms in expressions such as: "It's interesting to note that greater activity has been recorded etc.". But these same publications would not use: they're [late or rich or coming on Friday].

  • there was a lot of editing :/ my bad – user85483 Nov 23 '18 at 21:14