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Short Forms: Contracted Forms with Good and Useful Examples

short forms

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We often use short forms (Contracted forms) in spoken English as well as informal written English. So, what are short forms? Why do we use short forms in English? What are contracted words?

Contracted words are words which are shortened by omitting a letter or letters from them. The omitted letters are represented by an apostrophe.

When we write short forms, we use an apostrophe () for the missing letter or letters.

For example:

I would in contracted form (short form) is I’d. ( I would = I’d)

The contracted form of will not is won’t (will not = won’t)

The contracted form of have not is haven’t (have not = haven’t)

The contracted form of you are is you’re (you are = you’re)

The contracted form of I am is I’m (I am = I’m)

The contracted form of does not is doesn’t ( does not = doesn’t)

The contracted form of they are is they’re (they are = they’re)

The contracted form of are not is aren’t (are not = aren’t )

The contracted form of it would is it’d (it would = it’d)

Short Forms in English / Contracted Forms

Here are some examples of contracted forms (example short form):

  • I am from Brazil.

→ I’m from Brazil.

  • He is an engineer.

→ He’s an engineer.

  • We are interested in learning English.

→ We’re interested in learning English.

  • I have got some nice friends.

→ I’ve got some nice friends.

  • She has got a new computer.

→ She’s got a new computer.

  • You had better see a doctor.

→ You’d better see a doctor.

  • I will help you with that exercise.

→ I’ll help you with that exercise.

  • I would like to join the team.

→ I’d like to join the team.

‘s can be has or is. When ‘s is followed by the past participle, it means has.

  • He‘s done his homework (= He has done his homework)
  • She‘s been cleaning up the rooms for hours. (= She has been cleaning up the rooms for hours.)

Contracted Forms of Auxiliary Verbs with Not

short forms
Short Forms in English
Full formsShort forms (contracted forms)Negative short forms in sentences
is not isn’t This isn’t my book. It’s my Tom’s.
are not aren’t Tim and Jack aren’t here yet.
was not wasn’tThere wasn’t any problem with the new system.
were not weren’t They weren’t at the party last night.
do not don’t We don’t have any ideas about what happened.
does not doesn’t She doesn’t speak Spanish fluently.
did notdidn’t My kids didn’t sleep well last night.
have not haven’t I haven’t finished writing the second report yet.
has nothasn’t My mom hasn’t come yet. I miss her.
had nothadn’t I hadn’t finished eating when you called me.
cannotcan’t I can’t bear frogs.
could not couldn’t I couldn’t have access to the Internet as I didn’t have the WI-FI password.
would notwouldn’t If you’d studied harder, you wouldn’t have failed the exam.
will not won’t If we don’t hurry up, we won’t arrive on time.
should notshouldn’t You shouldn’t eat much fatty food.
must notmustn’t Students mustn’t use mobile phones during the test.

Note that we can say:
He isn’t/she isn’t/it isn’t or he’s not/she’s not/it’s not.
You aren’t
/we aren’t/they arentaren’t or you’re not/we’re not/they’re not.

We also contract negatives:

  • Do not →  don’t
  • Does not → doesn’t
  • Did not →  didn’t
  • Is not → isn’t
  • Are not → aren’t
  • Was not → wasn’t
  • Were not → weren’t
  • Will not → won’t
  • Shall not → shan’t
  • Have not → haven’t
  • Has not → hasn’t
  • Had not → hadn’t
  • Let us → let’s
  • Let us not → let’s not

Here are some more examples of short forms in sentences:

  • Helen’s watching an action movie.
  • Dad’s washing the car.
  • They aren’t coming to the party.
  • We don’t like playing golf.

  • David wasn’t here when the accident happened.
  • Let’s improve our English. Let’s not waste our time on social networking websites.
  • Katherine hasn’t submitted her project yet.
  • We didn’t meet at school. We just had an online meeting.

Short Forms After Question Words

Here are some contractions in questions

  • What’s
  • What’ll
  • How’s
  • Who’s
  • Who’ll
  • Who’d
  • Where’s
  • When’s

Short Forms with Question Words in Sentences

Here are some examples of contractions in questions:

  • Who’s that man?
  • How’s it going?
  • What’s the weather like in Chicago?
  • Who’ll do the washing up?
  • When’s your birthday?
  • Where’s she from?
Is is a Verb: Very Good & Useful Examples of is in Sentences
Modal Verbs in English
Singular and Plural Nouns
Some and Any

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