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Grade 4
Sep 1, 2022
  • 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. 


  • 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. 


  • ‘Do not’ rather than ‘don’t’. 
Contraction - i, you, he, she, it, we
Contraction - they, who, where, when, why, how

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) 


  • 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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