Contractions for beginners

You might wonder what the difference between formal and informal styles is. One of the elements that can make your writings informal is using contractions.

Contractions in English

What Are Contractions?

Contractions are the short version of some words. Sometimes we remove some letters to make a word shorter.

How to Make Contractions?

When we want to make contractions we use an apostrophe. We only use one apostrophe.

I’m here. → I am here.

She’s here → She is here.

When Do We Use Contractions?

We use contractions in different ways. Here are some of the main ways:

Contracted To Be Verbs

Be verbs are (am, is, are/was, were). We use these verbs after subjects (pronouns or nouns). For example:

She’s coming. → She is coming.

We’re talking → we are talking

Full form Contracted form
I am I'm
You are You're
It is It's
He is He's
She is She's
We are We're
They are They're

Negative Contractions

We add "not" to make verbs negative. When we want to change it into a contraction, we remove the letter “o” and add an apostrophe.

Full form Contracted form
I am not -
You are not You aren't
It is not It isn't
He is not He isn't
She is not She isn't
We are not We aren't
They are not They aren't


We say “she isn’t” or “they aren’t” but not I amn't. We only say I am not.

The Modal Verb "Can"

We use the modal verb can a lot. The negative form of can is cannot. When we use contractions we say can’t instead of cannot.

She can’t go → She cannot go.

He can’t sing. → He cannot sing


Loading recaptcha

You might also like


An apostrophe is a punctuation mark used on many occasions in English. Its meaning is dependent on the context it is used in.


A slash is a punctuation in the English language. In this article you can learn about its functions.


Capitalization is to write the first letter of a word in uppercase. In this lesson, you will learn all the rules about this subject.


When sentences are used together and they are linked to each other, they can finally form paragraphs. In this lesson, we will learn about them.

Ellipsis Punctuation

Ellipses is the plural form of ellipsis. They are three dots beside each other that stand for something. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Run-on Sentences

Run-on sentences are special types of sentences that are not actually correct ones. In this lesson, you will learn how to fix them.

Download LanGeek app for free