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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35
votes
4answers
42k views

Is Let us = Let's?

Many times I heard these words interchangeably. I want to know if "Let's" and "Let us" are used for the same meaning. I think (for me): "Let us" is word used for requesting. Like Let us do something ...
25
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4answers
19k views

There's vs There are

For example: There's two options here or There are two options here I hear a lot of people say the first line (or something similar), but isn't that incorrect? Isn't it plural and therefore ...
23
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7answers
12k views

“Do never…” vs. “Do not ever…”

I am just arguing with my friend if the phrase "do never something" is totally wrong compared to the phrase "do not ever something". And is "never" a contraction of "not ever"? Is it okay using "Do" ...
22
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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?
21
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3answers
4k views

is “I'll” correct as a short answer?

A basic example: -Hey, will you be at the party this Friday? -I'll A guy I know does that all the time and I can't convince him that this isn't correct... or is it? For me it just sounds stupid ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Are double contractions formal? Eg: “couldn't've” for “could not have”

Are double contractions, such as following, formal (ie allowed in formal documents/papers)? it'll've for "it shall have" or "it will have" mightn't've for "might not have" How about multiple ...
13
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4answers
2k views

What do 'er and patch 'er up mean?

What does the contraction 'er and the phrasal verb patch 'er up mean in the following text: This section will cover a lot of ground and your brain may meltdown a few times, but don’t worry, that’s ...
12
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4answers
49k views

What is a plural of “To-Do”? “To-Dos” or “To-Does”?

Say I have a list of "To-Do" things. I want to mention them to someone, so I doubt on how to call it: 1. I have many "To-Dos" for today 2. I have many "To-Does" for today 3. I have many "To-Do'...
11
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4answers
5k views

Can we say or write : “No, it'sn't”?

I know we can answer either : No, it's not No, it isn't But is it accepted and understandable to write : No, it'sn't What about saying it ?
11
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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 ...
11
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3answers
27k views

Can we use “there is” for plural nouns?

Is the following correct: There's a sofa, two armchairs, a TV and a big cage for our parrots. Or should we change it to: There's a sofa, there are two armchairs, there's a TV and a big cage ...
11
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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 ...
10
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1answer
22k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
809 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 ...
9
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2answers
692 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.
9
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2answers
957 views

When the contraction can't be used

Accidentally I've come up with a sentence where the contraction cannot be used, here it is: *I can't tell you how excited I'm. Obviously, any other sentence with similar structure (i.e. having a ...
8
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2answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “spec'd” in “That will ensure that the input is not driven to a non spec'd value”?

Somebody was teaching me electronics over the internet. I don't know if he is a native English speaker or not. He said: "To see more realistic effects, try using a clamping diode from the non ...
8
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3answers
20k views

“I'd better” or “it would be better”?

I wrote the following question in another StackExchange website: If I want to save and retrieve an object, should I create another class to handle it, or it would be better to do that in the class ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Can I contract “Where are”?

Can I contract "Where are" to "Where're"? Even if it's not wrong, it's unusual?
8
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3answers
5k views

Using ('s) for “is”

Can I write name then using ('s). For example Janny's 18 years old?
8
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3answers
2k views

When can't we shorten It is to It's

I have noticed that in some cases people write it is while in others it's. And in some cases you just cannot write it's. Is that your book over there? Maybe it is. It's a beautiful flower. Yes, it is,...
8
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1answer
688 views

Can I ask “Is not he calling me”? [duplicate]

"Is not he calling me?" "Isn't he calling me?" Why is #1 not correct while #2 is correct? And what about the below: "Is he not calling me?" Does #3 always mean the exact same thing as ...
8
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3answers
819 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?
7
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3answers
2k views

In the expression “There's got to be some” what does the 's stand for?

I wrote: "Not at all." I kissed her slim curled lips. "There are very few things I want to do that doesn't include you." "There got to be some." A native speaker told me that I needed to ...
6
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2answers
881 views

Using contractions correctly in Grammar like the word “weren't” when asking a question

Are the two example questions correct or is there a rule that applies when using and not using contraction words? "weren't you able to log into your online account?" "were not you able to log into ...
6
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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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

We got a PM who’s [sic] 93 years old

while @elmoehussaini posted: “We got a PM who’s [sic] 93 years old. We got a Team of Eminent Persons to repair the economy who are of 60 years old and above. I guess the “I’m too old for this s***” is ...
6
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2answers
533 views

About English practice for writing in forums

As French, I'm used to see that most of the time elevated language is not used when writing in French forums: it's often preferred to speak short. Not surprisingly it appears that the same applies to ...
6
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4answers
89 views

can we contract “The dog across the street is big.” to “The dog across the street's big.”?

can we contract "The dog across the street is big." to "The dog across the street's big."? I think we can't because I felt weird when saying "The dog across the street's big."
5
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2answers
1k views

What is “soon's”?

From novel To Kill A Mockingbird: I'd soon's kill you as look at you. What is "soon's" short for? I had found a similar sentence would as soon do something as look at you So as soon as can be ...
5
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2answers
13k 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?
5
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1answer
6k 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"? ...
5
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1answer
6k 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 ...
5
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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 ...
5
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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 "...
4
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2answers
98k 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.
4
votes
1answer
198 views

When “he's gone” means “he's dead”, is it a contraction of “he is” or “he has”?

I have seen this a lot in movies. When a man dies, another person goes near him, feels his pulse, and then says in a sad voice: "He's gone". Is this a contraction of "he is gone", or "he has gone"? ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
19k views

Is there any short form of “am not”?

We use short forms for verb + not like isn't, aren't, hasn't, won't, wasn't etc. But I haven't seen any short form used for am+not. So, I want to know if any short form exists for am not. Note: In ...
4
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1answer
2k views

“Aren't” instead “am not” for first person singular

I often notice that instead of "am not" the "aren't" version is used and I wonder if that is truly acceptable. What confuses me is that in school we were taught that the short version of am not is amn'...
4
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4answers
9k views

Is 'if there's any' grammatical in this sentence?

Is if there's any grammatical in the sentence below? I'll need to look up Huddleston and Pullum's opinion on this issue, if there's any. The source is the last sentence of an answer on this ...
4
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1answer
189 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.'?
4
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1answer
640 views

What are the rules for use of contractions?

I am a native English speaker. I've noticed that there seem to be very strong rules about when to use contractions, but I haven't seen these rules enumerated anywhere. For instance, I think nearly ...
4
votes
3answers
107 views

Contractions and their unabbreviated forms in sentences

I was wondering why some contractions in sentences don't make sense in their unabbreviated form, such as "why don't we do something about it" versus "why do not we do something about it"
3
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1answer
54 views

Are contractions discouraged in formal writing? [closed]

I remember reading something long ago that says people should avoid contractions in formal writing. I wonder whether that is true. And by formal writing, I mean specifically the four types: (1) ...
3
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1answer
228 views

The reason to write “o'clock”

What does mean or why we write the letter "o'" with clock? Is there any letter instead of the apostrophe?
3
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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!
3
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2answers
4k views

What is the tense of “it's supposed to be”?

For example, I just cleaned the desk an hour ago and it is dirty now. It is not what it's supposed to be. What is the tense of "it's"? Should it be interpreted as "is" or "was"?
3
votes
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!
3
votes
1answer
941 views

“She would of been a good woman”

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Source: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor This is an quote ...