Contractions are used in informal situations like everyday speech or informal writing (notes, messages etc.). We often refer to contractions as the short form of a subject and verb or the negative form or said subject and verb. Here is a quick list of contractions for you to review:

 

The Verb to be: present

 

SUBJECT AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE
I ´M ´M NOT
YOU ´RE AREN´T
HE/SHE/IT ´S ISN´T
THEY ´RE AREN´T
WE ´RE AREN´T
YOU ´RE AREN´T

 

The verb to be: past

 

SUBJECT AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE
I WAS WASN´T
YOU WERE WEREN´T
HE/SHE/IT WAS WASN´T
THEY WERE WEREN´T
WE WERE WEREN´T
YOU WERE WEREN´T

 

remember that the contraction of not is N´T

 

Other useful contractions

Note that some of the contractions do not exist in the in the affirmative

 

VERB AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE
WILL `LL WON´T
WOULD `D WOULDN´T
HAD `D HADN´T
HAVE  ´VE HAVEN´T
MUST MUSTN´T
SHOULD SHOULDN´T
SHALL SHAN´T
CAN CAN´T

 

Do not forget that the third person of have is has and the contraction is also different:

 

HAS HASN´T

 

To know the difference between similar contractions like I had (I´d) and I would (I´d) you need to focus on what goes after the contraction. For example;

 

I would like to go to the cinema = I´d like to go to the cinema

I had seen the film before = I´d seen the film before

 

Had (´d) is followed by a past participle like got, been, done etc.

 

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