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ELC - English Language Center Boston
A Lesson in Contractions March 29th, 2015

Contractions are important to know when speaking with and listening to a native English speaker.  Listed below are some of the common contractions English speakers will use in normal conversations:

  • -I’m: I am
  • -Can’t: cannot
  • -We’ve: we have
  • -She’ll: she will
  • -He’s: he is
  • -They’d: they had or they would
  • -Won’t: will not
  • -Weren’t: were not
  • -Wasn’t: was not
  • -Wouldn’t: would not
  • -Shouldn’t: should not
  • -Isn’t: is not

An important note is that contractions are not grammatically correct with written English, but are common with informal writing and when speaking.

Using Contractions in a Sentence

Isn’t, Shouldn’t, Wouldn’t

Examples:  Mark isn’t ever late for class.  Susie shouldn’t hit Bob.  Leonard wouldn’t stop talking.

Won’t, Weren’t, Wasn’t

Examples: Hannah won’t leave the building.  Jimmy and Dave weren’t excited for their exams.  Julia wasn’t going on the trip.

I’m, Can’t, We’ve

Examples: I’m a basketball fan.  Louise can’t stop smiling.  We’ve lost all of the students.

She’ll, He’d, They’d

Examples:  I know that she’ll be number one.  Do you think he’d want to go with me to the game?  They’d gone over his house last night or They’d think that was weird.


Hey! I’d heard that you’d gotten mad and wouldn’t stop screaming!

Now that you know the basics, get out there and practice with classmates, friends, or if you are feeling bold, practice with native English speakers. Below are some links that will help you learn your contractions!

Positive Contractions Rock!

Negative Contractions Shuffle

Informal Contractions Song