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Contractions- Concept and Its Uses

Sep 2, 2022
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Contractions 

  • A contraction is one word made up of two words. 
  • We do this to make things short and trim. 
  • The first word usually stays the same. 
  • We take certain letters out of the second word. 
  • An apostrophe will fill the space of the missing letters. 

Examples 

  • Have not à Haven’t  
  • Is not à Isn’t  
  • Cannot à Can’t 
  • I have à I’ve 
  • I had à I’d 
  • You are à You’re 
    • We can use contractions in normal speech and informal writing (writing notes / writing to family and friends) 
    • We should not use contractions in formal writing. In this case, use the original words. 

Example 

  • ‘Do not’ rather than ‘don’t’. 
  • An apostrophe and an ‘s’ together on some nouns mean possession. 
  • The girl’s bag is stolen. (Possessive noun) 
  • The girl’s smart! (The girl is smart) (Contraction) 

How to tell the difference? 

  • If the noun is followed by a second noun, then it is possessive. 
    • The girl’s shoes are pretty. 
    • Mia’s purse has gone missing. 
  • If the noun is followed by a verb, then it is a contraction. 
    • The girl’s irritated. 
    • Mia’s a great doctor!

Another thing to keep in mind. 

  • In contractions, be careful when you use (’s) and (’d) 
    • (How’s) could be (How is) or (How has). 
    • (How’d) could be (How would) or (How had). 

Example  

  • How’s your arm? (How is) 
  • How’s it been? (How has it been) 
    • So, we have to read the sentence to figure out the correct usage. 
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