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