List of Contractions | Contraction Words Used in Writing and Speaking

Here you will find a useful contractions list with ESL printable worksheet in English. You will also learn how to pronounce different contraction words in English with a video lesson.

Choosing grammatically correct word forms can depend on the type of writing one has to make. Such is the case with contractions in grammar, where rules differ for different styles of writing. But what exactly are contractions and how do you use them? This article will also explore contractions in grammar and how to use them correctly in writing.

Contraction Words

What is a Contraction?

Contractions are shortened word combinations (or forms) that are characterized by the omission of letters and sounds. In English, this is often achieved through the elision (deletion) of certain letters and replacement with an apostrophe (” ‘ “).

Contraction words can usually include forms that combine a pronoun and a verb, or an auxiliary verb and a negative modifier. For example, the usual conjugation structure of the pronoun “I” and the verb “to be” is “I am”. In its contracted form, this conjugation becomes “I’m”.

How to Pronounce Contractions in English with Alphabetical List of Contractions.

Types Of Contractions

There are at least two main types of contractions. These types include contracted auxiliary verbs and negative contractions.

Another type of contraction word is one that does not include elision and replacement by an apostrophe. This contraction is a simple combination of two words into a new word. For example, “going to” can be contracted to “gonna”, and “want to” can be contracted to “wanna”. These are informal in nature.

Contractions can be used in subject-auxiliary inversion, meaning the contraction can switch places with the subject and used as an auxiliary verb. This is often used in questions. For example, “She is not” can be contracted to “She isn’t”, and that in turn can be inverted into the question “Isn’t she?”.

How to Write Contractions Words

To write contractions, you generally must delete a portion of a word in a two-word phrase (like the “a” in “You are”), close any space between those words, and replace the missing letter with an apostrophe (“You’re”).

Contractions List

List of Contractions of Auxiliaries

The verb “to be” can take on many conjugated forms (like “is”, “are”, and “am”). In turn, these conjugated forms can be made into contractions when associated with a noun or pronoun. For example:

  • “I am” becomes “I’m” (for example, “I’m a teacher”), an ” ‘m ” contraction,
  • “She is” becomes “She’s” (for example, “She’s a doctor”) an ” ‘s ” contraction,
  • “They are” becomes “They’re” (for example, “They’re professionals” or “They’re accountants”) a ” ‘re ” contraction, or
  • “The dog is” becomes “The dog’s” (for example, “The dog’s healthy”), an ” ‘s ” contraction used with not with a pronoun (I, she), but with a noun (dog).

It should be noted that the ” ‘s” contraction can be used to indicate a possessive form. For example, “The worker is tall” is contracted to “The worker’s tall” in an auxiliary verb form, but “The lunchbox of the worker” can be contracted to “The worker’s lunchbox” to indicate possession.

Other contracted auxiliary verb forms include those for:

  • have (” ‘ve”),
  • had (” ‘d”),
  • has, (” ‘ve”), or
  • will (” ‘ll”).

The contractions of auxiliary verbs are as follows:

  • ‘m for am
  • ‘s for is
  • ‘re for are
  • ‘ve for have
  • ‘s for has
  • ‘d for had
  • ‘ll for will

Negative Contractions List

These contractions words usually involve taking the “o” out of “not” and replacing it with an apostrophe “n’t”. Examples include:

  • “be” (“is not” contracts to “isn’t”),
  • “have” (“have not” contracts to “haven’t”),
  • “do” (“do not” contracts to “don’t”),
  • “can” (“can not” contracts to “can’t”),
  • “will”, (“will not” contracts to “won’t”), and
  • shall (“should not” contracts to “shouldn’t”).

List of negative contractions words:

  • Forms of be: isn’t, aren’t, wasn’t, weren’t
  • Forms of have: haven’t, hasn’t, hadn’t
  • Modal verbs: can’t, couldn’t, mayn’t, mightn’t, mustn’t, shan’t, shouldn’t, won’t , wouldn’t, needn’t, oughtn’t.
  • Forms of do: don’t, doesn’t, didn’t

Special Cases

  • Let’s for let us
  • O’ in o’clock

Alphabetical List of Contractions

  • aren’t – are not
  • can’t – cannot
  • couldn’t – could not
  • didn’t – did not
  • doesn’t – does not
  • don’t – do not
  • hadn’t – had not
  • hasn’t – has not
  • haven’t – have not
  • he’d – he had; he would
  • he’ll – he will; he shall
  • he’s – he is; he has
  • I’d – I had; I would
  • I’ll – I will; I shall
  • I’m – I am
  • I’ve – I have
  • it’s – it is; it has
  • isn’t – is not
  • let’s – let us
  • mightn’t – might not
  • mustn’t – must not
  • shan’t – shall not
  • she’d – she had; she would
  • she’ll – she will; she shall
  • she’s – she is; she has
  • shouldn’t – should not
  • that’s – that is; that has
  • there’s – there is; there has
  • they’d – they had; they would
  • they’ll – they will; they shall
  • they’re – they are
  • they’ve – they have
  • we’d – we had; we would
  • we’re – we are
  • we’ve – we have
  • weren’t – were not
  • what’ll – what will; what shall
  • what’re – what are
  • what’s – what is; what has
  • what’ve – what have
  • where’s – where is; where has
  • who’d – who had; who would
  • who’ll – who will; who shall
  • who’re – who are
  • who’s – who is; who has
  • who’ve – who have
  • won’t – will not
  • wouldn’t – would not
  • you’d – you had; you would
  • you’ll – you will; you shall
  • you’re – you are
  • you’ve – you have

Contractions List | Picture


Contractions ListPin

Informal Contractions List

Some very informal contractions include words like “ain’t” (am not), “wanna” (want to), “gonna” (going to) — and should be avoided except for very familiar correspondences. They are not generally acceptable for academic or professional use.

By considering writing context and your audience, you can avoid informal contraction use and use contractions correctly.

Informal Contractions List: 

  • Ain’t = Am not/are not/is not
  • Ain’t = Has not/have not
  • Wanna = Want to
  • Wanna = Want a
  • Whatcha = What have you
  • Kinda = Kind of
  • Sorta = Sort of
  • Outta = Out of
  • Alotta = A lot of
  • Lotsa = Lots of
  • Mucha = Much of
  • Cuppa = Cup of
  • Dunno = Don’t know
  • Lemme = Let me
  • Gimme = Give me
  • Tell’em = Tell them
  • Cos = Because
  • Innit? = Isn’t it?
  • I’mma = I’m going to
  • Gonna = Going to
  • Needa = Need to
  • Oughta = Ought to
  • Hafta = Have to
  • Hasta = Has to
  • Usta = Used to
  • Supposta = Supposed to
  • Gotta = Got to
  • Cmon = Come on
  • Ya = You/ you are
  • Gotta = (have) got a
  • Shoulda = Should have
  • Shouldna = Shouldn’t have
  • Wouldna = Wouldn’t have
  • She’da = She would have
  • Coulda = Could have
  • Woulda = Would have
  • Mighta = Might have
  • Mightna = Mightn’t have
  • Musta = Must have
  • Mussna = Must not have
  • Dontcha = Don’t you
  • Wontcha = Won’t you
  • Whatcha = What are you
  • Betcha = Bet you
  • Gotcha = Got you
  • D’you = Do you
  • Didntcha = Didn’t you
  • Dija = Did you
  • S’more = Some more
  • Layder = Later

When to Use Contraction Words In Writing

Contractions words are usually used in informal writing. As shortened forms of existing words, they are commonly used in casual writing between friends or colleagues. That said, they can be also acceptable in day-to-day correspondence with superiors or writing articles, fiction, or instructions.

Contraction use is strongly discouraged for formal (i.e. academic) writing unless used in representing speech patterns of another person, i.e. quoting a source in a news article or academic paper.