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Spoken English: Contractions

Posted: August 10, 2019 at 8:52 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Contraction means to shorten a word or phrase by omitting one or more sounds or letters from it. The word so formed is also called a contraction. Discussed below are the various contractions used in spoken English.

The apostrophe has two uses:


1. To show that we have made words shorter. We have contracted them.


2. To show that something belongs to someone, i.e. they possess it. (possession) Here are two examples.

• My Mom’s car is red.

Here we have only one mom but we have put on the letter’s’ because we have put an apostrophe. It shows that the car belongs to dad.

• “I’ll tell you that later,” he whispered.

I will has become I’ll, we have joined two words and missed out the letters WI and put in the apostrophe instead. We use apostrophes because it can make our writing easier to read. In the list below we are going to look at apostrophes for contracting words.

Contraction Letters

Can not Can’t no Do not Don’t 0 Should not Shouldn’t 0 Could not Couldn’t 0 Would not Wouldn’t 0 Has not Hasn’t 0 I will I’ll WI They will They’ll WI He will He’ll WI There is There’s Who is Who’s You are You’re a They are They’re a Would have Would’ve ha They have They’ve ha Let’s start with Let)s. Except for some set phrases (example: ‘Let us pray’) let us is almost always expressed as a contraction: Let)s. Example: • Let’s go! It is almost always used to express an imperative, thus: • Let’s do it! However, sometimes it is used to express something like an ad-monition, thus:


1110 • Let’s do what we ought to do. Sometimes it is used to make suggestion, thus: • Let’s keep this just between us. Spoken English II The negative is ‘let’s not’, but you will also come across ‘don’t let’s’ . That’s = That is • That’s all = That is all • That’s all I want = That is all I want • That’s it = That is it • That’s my son = That is my son • That’s my child = That is my child • That’s my daughter = That is my daughter • That’s what I wanted to say = That is what I wanted to say • That’s a good idea = That is a good idea What’s = What is • What’s going on = What is going on? • What’s that? = What is that? • “”‘hat’s happening? = What is happening? • What’s going to happen? = What is going to happen? What’s = What has • What’s been happening? = What has been happening? • What’s been going on? = What has been going on? -ouldnYt’ve = -ould not have Because ofvoicless [t], the sound that follows, ‘-ve’ sounds like of, which is where we get the erroneous spelling -ouldnYt of


II Contractions it’s = it is • It’s a man = It is a man • It’s a woman = It is a woman • It’s a boy = It is a boy • It’s a girl = It is a girl • It’s a good thing = It is a good thing • It’s not a good thing = It is not a good thing • It’s time to go = It is time to go • It’s a good day to die = It is a good day to die • It’s a good speech = It is a good speech • It’s hot = It is hot • It’s cold = It is cold • It’s winter = It is winter • It’s summer = It is summer it’s = it has • It’s been a good day = It has been a good day • It’s been one of those days = It has been one of those days • It’s been good = It has been good • It’s been fun = It has been fun • It’s been a wonderful life = It has been a wonderful life • It’s been a trying time = It has been a trying time there~ = there is • There’s one = There is one • There’s another = There is another

1112 Spoken English II • There’s a red balloon = There is a red balloon • There’s gold in those hills = There is gold in those hills • Where there’s water there’s life = Where there is water there is life • There’s a lot of water in the river = There is a lot of water in the river NEGATivE: -• There’s not a lot I can do about it. • There isn’t much I can do about it. IRREGulAR CONTRACTioNS: won~t = will not Examples: • I don’t want to do it, so I won’t do it. • I won’t do it unless you make me do it. • I won’t promise you anything. • I won’t do anything. • Why won’t you help me? • It won’t work. • He won’t work. • She won’t work. • They won’t work. • We won’t work. From those last five sentences, we can plainly see that nobody wants to work.
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