Contractions are short words that are put together to form a new word with the same meaning. Contractions are a lot of fun to teach, but sometimes they can be a little confusing. If you are teaching contractions words to your kids we have got you covered with tips, worksheets and charts to help you out.
The word contract means to get smaller. In writing, you can combine two words into one to get the contracted form of the two words into one smaller word.
Contractions are used in everyday language. They are a short cut of the informal English language. It is important for children to understand the words they hear spoken everyday, and what they look like in the written form.
What is a contraction?
Contractions are the abbreviated form of original words. We know that a contraction is a word that has gotten smaller. So a contraction is a shortened form of a word in the English language. They are two words put together to form one new word that is still very similar to the original words.
In a contraction you may notice that there are omitted letters from the original words. Those letters are replaced by the use of apostrophes. So the apostrophe takes the place of those letters and acts as a punctuation mark of sorts. When you write a contraction you are replacing the missing letters with an apostrophe instead of the letter.
What are contracted words?
Contracted words are also called contractions. It is when two words are put together, they are then contracted into one word which is a contraction. There are many words that we use everyday that are contracted words.
Most contractions are made up of verbs that are attached to other words to form one word.
Contraction Words Examples:
Some of the most common contractions used the most often are these following words:
Contraction Words A-I
- 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
- isn’t – is not
Contraction Words L-T
- 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
Contraction Words W-Y
- 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
These common informal contraction words should not be considered proper grammar.
- Ain’t – Am not/are not/is not
- Tell’em – Tell them
- I’mma = I’m going to
- She’da – She would have
- D’you – Do you
- S’more – Some more
- Innit? – Isn’t it?
Free Contractions Charts & Review Cards PDF Download
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to gain access to a set of contractions printables that include contractions charts and matching cards that you can use for review.
How do you make contractions from words?
When you are making a contraction, you are taking two different words and turning them into one single word. Examples of a sentence with a contraction would be:
We are going to eat dinner now. Contracted form: We’re going to eat dinner now.
The letter a in the word are is replaced with an apostrophe.
The importance of teaching contractions
Contractions are used in everyday informal language and are very commonly used in the English language. So much so that non-native speakers of English can find English speakers hard to understand. This is because we use so many contractions in our language.
It is important to learn how to speak, read and write contractions because they are so common. Learning contractions also helps a child that is learning to speak and read out loud with pronunciation.
Understanding contractions and how they are used also helps with spelling. They’re is the contracted form of they are. Other similar words that sound the exact same, but are spelled differently are their, and there. So they’re, their and there are different words and are all homophones, but only one is a contraction.
There sure is a lot to learn in the English language and in grammar. When contractions are taught and understood early on, it is much less confusing. It also helps to build strong spellers
When are contractions taught?
Standard contractions are normally taught in the second grade. They are introduced in many language arts and reading lessons, but more so in the second grade once a child is reading on their own.
They are most commonly introduced in spelling lessons as spelling words. When a child knows how to spell contractions words, they have an easier time understanding how they originated.
How to use contraction words properly
Contractions can be used in everyday speech in a conversational tone or informal tone. They are often used in casual conversation and informal speech. They are used often in informal writing such as notes or friendly letters to family and friends.
Contraction words are not supposed to be used in formal communication such as an academic paper or business letters. When you are writing you always want to make sure that you think about the form of your writing. Make sure to check that contractions are not being used if your writing has any formality to it. This includes academic writing. If you are writing a letter to a friend or family member, contractions are just fine though!
An English teacher would probably take points off if contractions were used in any type of school paper. It is important to not use them in academic writing, especially in a research paper. These are more formal than an opinion piece, or creative writing.
Common contracted words mistakes
There are many words that are easy to misuse in the English language. Some examples of contracted word mistakes are:
- you’re instead of your = You are in trouble, should be you’re in trouble. Not your in trouble. The proper use of your would be your book, or your backpack, not you’re backpack.
- The contracted form of the words should have is should’ve. Many kids write or say the words should of. That is not correct.
- Another similar mistake is would’ve being turned into would of, when it is really would have, not would of. It is all about proper pronunciation and writing.
Practicing over and over can help if a child is hung up on a certain set of contracted words.
Ways to teach contractions
Visual aids are a great way to teach contractions to children. You can use a chalkboard or a piece of paper for this exercise. Start with some basic contractions such as he’s and she’s.
Write the word he is on a piece of paper or on a chalkboard nice and large. Cross out the letter i and then replace it with an apostrophe to form the word he’s. Do the same thing for the words she is. Cross out the i, replace it with an apostrophe, then next to the word have your child write the shortened version of she’s.
Use a marker on a piece of paper so your child can see the letter you have crossed out and replaced with the apostrophe. If you are doing it on a chalkboard, they can also physically erase the letter, then write the apostrophe in the proper place.
There are also many different types of printables and worksheets that offer lots of contraction practice for your kids. Sometimes kids that struggle with large visuals may do better with lots of additional practice such as worksheets or printable charts.
Free Contractions Printable Charts & Cards
Help your students grasp the concept of contractions with these handy contractions charts and cards for matching and review.
How to Download Contractions PDF Pack
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It is important to stop and spend some extra time working on contractions with your kids. They can be a lot of fun, and especially helpful for kids that have problems with pronunciation and spelling words correctly. We hope these tips, ideas and worksheets will help to get your kids excited about contractions and the English language.
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for almost 20 years.. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!