Questions tagged [contractions]

A contraction of a word is made by omitting certain letters or syllables and bringing together the first and last letters or elements.

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148 views

Can I use “as it turned out” without a contradiction? [closed]

Text of an SAT question: 1) Shoppers in the United States beware—there's a new way to buy groceries, and it's coming to a store near you. (2) As recently as 1999, only 6% of U.S. supermarkets ...
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2answers
103 views

“It's secure” versus “It is secure” - which is correct

Which is the correct form of these: It’s secure It is secure My question: which is the correct form? For examples, is this sentence ok? XY says it’s secure.
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2answers
95k views

“You are” vs. “you're” — what is the difference between them?

“You are” vs. “you're” — what is the difference between them? I get confused between the two a lot. I want to understand how to use them appropriately, because I hate making mistakes.
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2answers
642 views

I heard this very often, “…aren't I”

I hear this sentence very often, for example: "I am right, aren't I!" I wonder if that is the colloquial way or it is a correct English.
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2answers
997 views

Why does my spelling checker mark these contractions as incorrect?

I'm confused why there is a red underline when I shorten certain words. Words which are OK: I've, You've, We've Words which have a red underline, meaning they're wrong: Should've, Will've, ...
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1answer
2k views

Why don't we contract “it is” in “If it is, then…”

I wrote some instructions for a friend today, asking them to check something, and then act differently depending on the result: It should be spinning when it's on. If it isn't then check the ...
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2answers
11k views

what is the difference between 'em and them

What is the difference between 'em and them? I saw my friend writing, Lets Kick'em. But I don't know what it means and if it is correct to use. Could you help me?
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2answers
3k views

“mightn't have” and “might not have”

In American English, are "mightn't have" and "might not have" both often used in speaking and writing? How about "couldn't have" and "could not have"? How about in British English? Thanks!
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5answers
788 views

Question sentences involving negation

(1) Does he not know? (2) Doesn't he know? I don't usually see and hear questions formed in the first style. I was even surprised to know that it is grammatically correct. And actually it is the ...
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1answer
188 views

He's 16 and she's 14.

Do the sentences below sound natural? I have a brother and a sister. He's 16 and she's 14. Or should you say, 'My brother is 16 and my sister is 14.'?
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1answer
690 views

Present Perfect Contracted Negative Forms such as “He hasn't” vs “He's not” + (past participle, been+present participle)

In the following set of pairs, the first part of the pair is the standard negative form of contraction. Are they ever heard of in conversations? If yes, are they as acceptable as the standard ...
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2answers
346 views

“Bloomin'” instead of “blooming”

What is the point of writing -in' instead of -ing ? The character count is the same, so where is the profit?
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1answer
125 views

How should I ask about a contraction meaning?

Please help me to ask the sentence below properly. to what word the contraction "d" refers to in "he'd" Thanks in advance.
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1answer
3k views

Is “don't” considered informal In writing?

Is "don't" considered informal In writing? Originally, I thought that all contractions are informal, but I remember later I saw "don't" also used in formal writings, or am I wrong? Thanks!
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1answer
458 views

The contraction in “What's upset you?”

The question, to me, means "What does upset you?", but I would like to know what kind of contraction "'s" is. Is it "does"! or "is"? and then, how do we explain the development of the original ...
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4answers
3k views

Ain't and negatives

I am puzzled with the use of ain't. I know its meaning, and also know it is pretty informal. But I see it used in several ways, some I think of as conflicting. See the following examples I ain't ...
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1answer
18k views

Can I always use “'d” as contraction of “did”?

Two different answers for a question say that 'd in "How'd you know?" is a contraction of did. Can I always use 'd as contraction of did, or should I use it only when 'd follows a word that is part of ...
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2answers
1k views

How had you known?

I caught this dialogue on TV: A: Who was that guy you spoke at the parking lot with? B: How'd you known? The second sentence, as I understand, is a contraction of "How had you known?" It ...
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1answer
155 views

What's the original form for 'there's' in this sentenece?

Scout, you aren’t old enough to understand some things yet, but there’s been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man. (Harper Lee, To Kill A ...
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2answers
2k views

Use of “shan't” in speech

Let's assume that someone says, "I shall do this" to me. As a response or a teasing way, Can I use, "You shan't..!" ? Well, I used this once - when a friend of mine replied: "Huh?" Is it OK to use "...
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1answer
5k views

What does “do't” mean?

I found this line in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine? What does "do't" mean? Google returneth only "don't". Is "do't" an alternative spelling of "don't"? ...
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2answers
1k views

How to choose a proper contraction “it's not” versus “it isn't”?

I'm aware that both it's not and it isn't are contractions of the same phrase, it is not. Till today, I was convinced that choosing them depends on desired emphasis. This way, choosing it's not ...
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1answer
5k views

Is it grammatical to say, “If it isn't X, then what is?”

I can't wrap my head about the difference between the two phrases below. A friend of mine, an U.K. national, told me that both are grammatical, but being not a linguist, she can't explain why. A ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it uncommon to end a sentence with a contraction?

I tried to persuade X to go, but I couldn't. I came across someone writing a sentence ending in a contraction, similar to the one above, and someone else saying that it's uncommon, and that "but I ...
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3answers
716 views

Appropriate usage of “can't” and “cannot”

Are there any rules for using can't and cannot since they mean the same thing, and they are used interchangeably, but they sound weird in certain contexts?
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2answers
3k views

“I'll not” vs “I won't” - when is which preferred?

I know these two common contractions: I'll enjoy it I won't enjoy it I wonder: can one use the first one with a negative? I'll not enjoy it. Is this correct? If so, when/how would one ...
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3answers
5k views

Is it common to use “gonna” in written English and even in business English?

Gonna is a short form of going to. That sounds a little bit like slang. Is it common to use it in written English and even in business English?