What is contraction?

A contraction refers to a shortened form of a word, syllable, or word group, created by omission of internal letters which are replaced by an apostrophe.


  • I am = I'm
  • He is = He's

Contractions should not be confused with:

  1. Abbreviations which consist of a letter or group of letters taken from the word or phrase as in Dr for Doctor
  2. Clipping which is the word formation process consisting in the reduction of a word to one of its parts as in spec for speculation.
  3. Acronyms which is an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word (example: FBI, Benelux, radar)

A list of contracted forms in English

Here is a list of some examples of contraction in English:

Full Forms Contracted forms
I am I'm
you / we / they are you / we / they're
she / he is she / he's
I am not I'm not
you / we / they are not you / we / they aren't
she / he is not she / he isn't
I / you /we / they have I / you /we / they've
she / he has she / he's
they have they've
I had I'd
I would I'd
I will I'll
I do not I don't
he does not he doesn't
I did not I didn't
I have not I haven't
I had not I hadn't
I cannot I can't
I could not I couldn't
I will not I won't
I would not I wouldn't
I should not I shouldn't
I must not I mustn't
There is There's
where is where's
who is who's