Apostrophes in Contractions (with Examples)
Apostrophes in ContractionsApostrophes are used in contractions. A contraction is an abbreviated version of a word or words.
Apostrophes Replace Missing LettersThe apostrophe in a contraction replaces at least one letter. Here are five common contractions with an explanation of how they have been formed.
(The contraction is "isn't." In this contraction, the apostrophe replaces the "o" of "not," and the two words become one.)
(Here, the apostrophe replaces the "ha" of "have," and the two words become one.)
(In this contraction, the apostrophe replaces the "woul" of "would," and the two words become one.)
(This time, the original word was one word. The apostrophe replaces the "no.")
("Won't" is a quirk. It is actually a contraction of "woll not" (not "will not"). In Middle English, the verb that we now spell "will" existed in a few forms, including "woll" and "welle." Probably because "won't" is easy to say, the "woll" version of the verb has survived in the contraction "won't" into modern English )
Contractions with Apostrophes Are Common in Informal WritingContractions are generally reserved for informal writing as they are used to reflect how people speak. Contractions with apostrophes are not common in formal writing.
Examples of Contractions with ApostrophesHere are some more examples of contractions with apostrophes:
- If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe. (Actor Woody Allen)
- Don't look now, but there's one too many in this room, and I think it's you. (Comedian Groucho Marx)
Contractions with "Is"It is common for 's to be added to a noun to mean "is." For example:
- Blood's not thicker than money. (Comedian Groucho Marx) (Blood is not thicker than money.)
Only Use Official ContractionsYou cannot make up your own contractions. For example:
- Can you play the g'tar?
- I couldn't've joined in because I'd've been too tall.
Official ContractionsHere is a list of official contractions:
|he'd||he had, he would|
|he'll||he will, he shall|
|he's||he is, he has|
|I'd||I had, I would|
|I'll||I will, I shall|
|it's||it is, it has|
|she'd||she had, she would|
|she'll||she will, she shall|
|she's||she is, she has|
|that's||that is, that has|
|there's||there is, there has|
|they'd||they had, they would|
|they'll||they will, they shall|
|we'd||we had, we would|
|what'll||what will, what shall|
|what's||what is, what has|
|where's||where is, where has|
|who'd||who had, who would|
|who'll||who will, who shall|
|who's||who is, who has|
|you'd||you had, you would|
|you'll||you will, you shall|