Forming Contractions of Words & Figures

contractions

Good Monday morning to everyone! This is a post to remind everyone about forming contractions of words in English.

English allows us to take two words and create a shorter form called a contraction. These forms are seen as less formal, and they’re (they are) perfect for anyone who’s (who is) looking for a casual tone in their writing (or speech). We simply take the two words, slide them together, leave out a letter or two, and place an apostrophe where the letter(s) used to be.

There is ALWAYS an apostrophe in a contraction, and it ALWAYS goes where the letters (or figures) were in the original form.

What I’ve (I have) seen many times are contractions either missing the required apostrophe or the contractions and their similar-sounding words ( homophone) being used one for the other.

While English continues to change and definitions evolve, some words simply are what they are, and they cannot be used for another word.

When you’re (you are) writing your posts, do you ever get confused about which word to use? Perhaps you’ll (you will) hold on to this post, with the examples I’ve (I have) shown below, to help you remember how to use these common contractions — and their homophonic siblings in some cases.

Can’t = Cannot

Doesn’t = Does not

Hasn’t = Has not

I’ll = I will or I shall

I’m = I am

It’s = It is or It has (Its = possessive pronoun)
(its’ = NOT A REAL WORD)

They’re = They are (Their = possessive pronoun)

Who’s = Who is (Whose = possessive pronoun)

Won’t = Will not

Would’ve = Would have (NOT Would of)

You’re = You are (Your = possessive pronoun)

(If there were any justice or logic in English,
wouldn’t “will not” turn into “willn’t”?)

Here’s (here is) a short quiz to see if what’s (what is) written above is helpful.

  1. (Who’s / Whose) book is that?
  2. The dog wagged (its / its’ / it’s) tail.
  3. (Your / You’re) reading (your / you’re) book quckly!
  4. (Its / It’s) been raining all day, and (its / it’s) finally stopping.
  5. (Their / There / They’re) hoping (it’s / its / its’) going to be sunny later for (their / there / they’re) party.
  6. (Whose / Who’s) planning to attend the wedding?
  7. Remember to count (you’re / your) blessings.
  8. Oh, Sarah, (your / you’re) so smart!

 

Now, staying with this thought, we also form contractions of decades or years in the same way. We always put the apostrophe where the original numbers used to be.

So the contraction of the 1980s would be . . .  ’80s / 80s / 80’s?

(You’re / Your) writing about graduating in 1994. What’s (what is) the contraction? 94? ’94? 94′?

Do you see how this works? Yes. The apostrophe is required in all contractions.

OK, here are your answers to the questions above!

  1. (Who’s / Whose) book is that?
  2. The dog wagged (its’ / its / it’s) tail.
  3. (Your / You’re) reading (your / you’re) book quckly!
  4. (Its / It’s) been raining all day, and (its / it’s) finally stopping.
  5. (Their / There / They’re) hoping (it’s / its / its’) going to be sunny later for (their/ there / they’re) party.
  6. (Whose / Who’s) planning to attend the wedding?
  7. Remember to count (you’re / your) blessings!
  8. Oh, Sarah, (your / you’re) so smart!

 

Answers for the figure contractions:
So the contraction of the 1980s would be . . .  ’80s / 80s / 80’s?

And no. There is (there’s) NO apostrophe in plurals of the decades. Actually, we don’t (do not) usually use an apostrophe to form plurals in English, not even for single letters (unless the resulting form would be totally confusing).

(You’re / Your) writing about graduating in 1994. What’s (what is) the proper contraction? 94? ’94? 94′?

How did you do? And as always, I welcome your thoughts and questions!