Contractions are an essential part of English Grammar. They are used in writing various daily based spoken sentences. Although, they are used to make the word very attractive and professional. Contractions are the brief version of daily using words. They usually make our writing and speaking standard. The contractions are formed by putting the omission between the word, group of words and syllable. Although contractions can be described as short forms of words, they are not abbreviations, crasis, acronyms and initialisms. But, still, they have phonetic and semantic functions. That’s why they are the standard form of the word but not the abbreviations.
Contractions are formed within those words written in sequence. The actual meaning of the contractions consists of the word portmanteau, which means blend. But the difference between portmanteau and contractions is that portmanteau is the combination of two existing words, while contractions are the combination of two words in sequence. Both these domains are related to the singular, so they are similar to each other.
Contractions in English
In the English language, there are a large number of contractions. They primarily consist of a deletion of the vowels, which are replaced by commas while writing. These contractions are popular in writing informal paragraphs but are avoided while writing informal paragraphs; some regular contractions are still used.
Contraction examples: I’m, ain’t, o’clock.
Let’s understand the different 000 examples.
- Full form: not
Informal: auxiliary verb + not
Similar contractions examples: shouldn’t, don’t, can’t, shan’t
Example: You aren’t happy.
- Complete form: let us
Example: let’s go to the picnic
- Complete form: I am
Example: I’m a good student
- Full form: are
Example: we’re good friends.
- Complete form: does, is, has
Example: What are you doing there?
He’s playing the games.
She’s doing this.
- Full form: have
Example: I’ve to go outside.
- Complete form: had, did, would
Example: We’d do this.
Where’d she be going?
We’d you like to take it?
- Complete form: will or shall.
Example: they’ll do this later.
I’ll be there soon.
In simpler words, contractions are another form of omission. They are usually used to simplify the pronunciation by reducing the terms. Although the sounds of contractions remain similar to their full forms, the way writing gets changed.
In some cases, when we use subject–auxiliary inversion, some contractions show the nature of auxiliaries. If their subject place gets changed, they also start showing nature auxiliaries. So, contractions are used to make short sentences in English. They are also used to reduce the writing efforts and make the whole writing very short and precise.
How to use contractions
In day to day talk, contractions are used commonly. These are used for writing professional and standard documents. But it’s very necessary to understand its uses before actual execution. Let’s understand how to use contractions.
- Check the correct time to use contractions.
Contractions are not used in formal documents like medical specifications, legal documents, etc. Contractions can be used in slogans, writing casual emails, talking formally, etc.
- Use apostrophe
The use of the apostrophe is very necessary for contractions. In contractions, tei words are joined together to make a single word. So, apostrophes should be used to make a good sense of the joining words. If it is not used properly, it will make the contractions meaningless. Along with this, apostrophes can eliminate some letters from the words. Simply an apostrophe symbol can be used instead of writing the whole word.
- Understand the difference between “it’s” and “its.”
It is a very typical mistake. A proper understanding of “its” and “it’s” is necessary. “It’s” is a contraction of ‘it is’ and ‘it has’. So, “its” is not a contraction and “it’s” is a contraction.
- Some contractions have two different meanings.
Some English grammar contractions have two different meanings, but their spelling and sound remain the same. So, recognising this difference is very necessary. For instance, “she’d” is the contra of ‘she would, but it is also used as ‘she had’.
- Use appropriate negative contractions.
Negative contractions are those in which any word is combined with the ‘not’. There are several negative contractions, like Aren’t, Don’t, Hadn’t, Isn’t, Shouldn’t, etc. These contractions must be used based on helping verbs in the sentence.
Let’s understand the topic deeply with contraction exercises.
1)Write the contractions in the sentences below.
- I am a boy
Answer: I’m a boy
- They have a ball.
Answer: They have a ball.
- I have not got ice cream.
Answer: I haven’t got any ice cream.
2)Write the combining words of the given contractions.
- can’t: can not
- Where’s: where is
- isn’t: is not
- aren’t: are not
- He’s: He is
Contractions are an important part of English literature. Sometimes it is considered an abbreviation of a specific word. But, this is not true; the contraction is just the method of shortening the words. The word contraction itself demonstrates that the shortening or contracting of sentences is the contraction.
The use of contractions should be done with lots of practice. However, the improper use of contractions in the sentences can change the whole meaning of the sentence and sometimes make it senseless. Although, there are certain rules and tips for using contractions, which must be learned and understood before using.