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15.6: Contractions

  • Page ID
    225965

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    What are they?

    Apostrophes can show possession (the girl’s hamster is strange), and also can show the omission of one or more letters when words are combined into contractions. You would use a contraction to shorten and combine words. This is a list of the most common contractions.

    Connections

    For more help with contractions, see “Possessives.”

    Long Form Contraction
    I am I'm
    I had I'd
    I have I've
    it is it's
    we will we'll
    they will they'll
    we are we're
    they are they're
    do not don't
    does not doesn't
    did not didn't
    let us let's
    is not isn't
    are not aren't
    should not shouldn't
    will not won't
    cannot can't
    would not wouldn't
    could not couldn't
    you would you'd
    who is who's

    In formal writing, contractions are not used as frequently (if at all). Some instructors allow contractions in assignments, and some do not. You should check with them about their policy if it is not clear from the syllabus. If you do use contractions, however, be sure to include the apostrophe in place of the letters you omit.

    Practice

    Exercise 1 – Contractions

    In each of the sentences below, combine the words in long form into contractions.

    Example: When John returns, he (will not) ___________ want to eat dinner.

    Correct: When John returns, he won’t want to eat dinner.


    1. The team is busy typing at the desk, but (they are) _____________ not going to stay long.
    2. It (is not) _________ that their parents are mean, but they (do not) _______ spend any time with them.
    3. (You would) ______________ have to be crazy to eat that fast food.
    4. Paragraphs (are not) _____________ my favorite thing to study, but they beat spelling.
    5. In two more days (we will) ____________ be sailing around the world.
    6. The second student from the left (would not) ____________turn in his test on time.
    7. (Let us) __________ see what (I am) _______ doing next week so I (do not) _________ double-book.
    8. (Who is) ___________ coming to the party tomorrow?
    9. This really (is not) ____________ what I envisioned when I agreed to get paid.
    10. The co-op (does not) ______________ have any cereal unless (you are) __________ buying it in bulk.
    11. In fact, (it is) _________ cheaper, healthier, and (should not) ____________ be any less fresh.
    12. (I have) ______________ had a good experience at that store.
    13. The food I brought home (would not) ________________ ever go to waste.
    14. (They will) ______________ bag it for you and (will not) _____________ drop anything.
    15. (I am) ________ a fan of going to a co-op like this instead of the large chain stores.

    Adapted from Fog City Fundamentals, Fourth Edition, Altman & Deicke, 1998

    Answer

    Exercise 1 – Contractions

    1. The team is busy typing at the desk, but they’re not going to stay long.
    2. It isn’t that their parents are mean, but they don’t spend any time with them.
    3. You’d have to be crazy to eat that fast food.
    4. Paragraphs aren’t my favorite thing to study, but they beat spelling.
    5. In two more days we’ll be sailing around the world.
    6. The second student from the left wouldn’t turn in his test on time.
    7. Let’s see what I’m doing next week so I don’t double-book.
    8. Who’s coming to the party tomorrow?
    9. This really isn’t what I envisioned when I agreed to get paid.
    10. The co-op doesn’t have any cereal unless you’re buying it in bulk.
    11. In fact, it’s cheaper, healthier, and shouldn’t be any less fresh.
    12. I’ve had a good experience at that store.
    13. The food I brought home wouldn’t ever go to waste.
    14. They’ll bag it for you and won’t drop anything.
    15. I’m a fan of going to a co-op like this instead of the large chain stores.

    Adapted from Fog City Fundamentals, Fourth Edition, Altman & Deicke, 1998


    This page titled 15.6: Contractions is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Skyline English Department.

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