Can I contract "Where are" to "Where're"?

Even if it's not wrong, it's unusual?

  • 1
    See Using the contraction of “are” – user3169 Jul 30 '15 at 21:05
  • 2
    This is a bit off-topic, but English contractions can get weird – Scott Baker Jul 30 '15 at 23:11
  • It's pretty common in spoken English. When transcribed, often people will write "Where you going?" or "Where ya going?" instead of "Where're you going?". – Chris Down Jul 31 '15 at 1:06
  • @ScottSEA Thanks for the link, the awkwardness of where're is nothing compared to those! – talles Jul 31 '15 at 3:11
  • 1
    @talles Out of those, the ones that reduce both "not" and "have" are probably the most common, but I think they are more common in British English (mightn't've, wouldn't've, etc). Also, where I live in the Deep South, "d'y'all" is quite common. There are many that I have never even seen or conceived of on that list though. – Crazy Eyes Jul 31 '15 at 16:01

It's not as unusual as you think, and it's not even very awkward to say (at least to me, being a native English speaker).

It is indeed contracted just like that, "where're."

"Where're you going?" is probably the most common usage. Remember contractions are always considered at least a little informal, so don't say this if you're trying to deliver grave news or a formal speech.

I don't keep statistics, but if I had to guess I would say that where're is not as popular as it once was in vernacular. I think it's also more commonly said by children, who sometimes slur syllables together since they're not as experienced using the language.

  • +1 Note that this is eye dialect and doesn't reflect the actual pronunciation, which is more like /'hwɛɹ̥/, with an extended /ɛ/ and a strongly syllabic /ɹ̥/ – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 30 '15 at 21:47

In informal spoken English, sure. But I wouldn't use the contraction in written English (I never see it written), unless you're writing dialogue.

  • Yeah, people don't write where're very much, even though reducing are in speech is very common. – snailplane Jul 30 '15 at 22:27

Yes it's fine.

Note that in non-rhotic English, "where're" is pronounced "where-ə"

"Where-ə you going?"

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