Contractions Rules


1 general rules

Forms like I've, don't are called 'contractions'.
There are two kinds.
noun/pronoun etc + (auxiliary) verb
I'm tired. My father's not very well
Do you know when you'll arrive? Where's the station?
I've no idea. There's a problem.
She'd like to talk to you. Somebody's coming.
Here's our bus.
(auxiliary) verb + not
They aren't ready. I haven't seen him for ages.
You won't be late, will you? Can't you swim?

Contractions are formed with auxiliary verbs, and also with be and sometimes
have when these are not auxiliary verbs.

The short form's (= is\has) can be written after nouns (including proper names), question words, here and now as well as pronouns and unstressed there. The short forms 'll, 'd and 're are commonly written after pronouns and unstressed there, but in other cases we more often write the full forms

(especially in British English), even if the words would be contracted in pronunciation.

Contractions are not usually written with double subjects.
John and I have decided to split up.

The apostrophe (') goes in the same place as the letters that we leave out:
 has not =hasn't . But note that shan't (BrE =shall not) and won't
(= will not) only have one apostrophe each.

Contractions are common and correct in informal writing: they represent the pronunciation of informal speech. They are not generally used in a formal style.

2 alternative contractions

Some negative expressions can have two possible contractions. For she had not we can say she'd not or she hadn't; for he will not we can say he'll not or he  won't. The two negative forms of be (e.g. she isn't and she's not) are both
common in British English; American English prefers the forms with not (e.g,
she's not). With other verbs, forms with n't (e.g. she hadn't) are more common
in most cases in standard southern British English; they are the only forms
normally used in AmE. (Forms with not - e.g, she'd not - tend to be more
common in northern and Scottish English.)
Double contractions are not normally written: s,'te'sn't is impossible.

3 position

Contractions in the first group (noun ! pronoun ! question word + auxiliary
verb) do not normally come at the ends of clauses.
- I'm late. - I've forgotten.
Yes, you are. (NOT Yes, you're.) Yes, you have. (NOT ¥es, I've.)
Negative contractions can come at the ends of clauses.
They really aren't. No, I haven't.

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