In a world where shorter is better (think texts and tweets) it’s no surprise we use contractions in American English.  You might think contractions were a modern invention as the pace of life picked up, but they’ve actually been used since the 7th century!

So what is a contraction:

  • Contractions happens when we combine two words to make one word.
  • Contractions allow us to express a thought with fewer words.
  • Contractions are a standard part of American English and are used in informal and formal situations.
  • Contractions are not lazy speech.  In fact, not using contractions will make your speech sound foreign.
  • Contractions follow specific rules, so don’t make up your own!
  • Contractions are not used in writing, unless it is informal writing.
  •  Contractions are made by using an apostrophe. The apostrophe stands in for the missing letters.  For example:

I will———————-I’ll

I have——————–I’ve

He is———————-he’s

Here’s an extensive list of contractions at Wikipedia.  Take a look at the list, listen to native speakers and practice, practice, practice!

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