List of Standard Contractions in English

Contractions are shortened forms of words or word groups, in which some letters or sounds are omitted. An apostrophe usually marks the omission—for example, do not becomes don’t. Here is a list of 80 standard contractions used in English.

Standard English Contractions
don’tdo not
didn’tdid not
isn’tis not
wasn’twas not
aren’tare not (also am not)
weren’twere not
hasn’thas not
haven’thave not
hadn’thad not
couldn’tcould not
shan’tshall not
shouldn’tshould not
won’twill not
wouldn’twould not
mightn’tmight not
mustn’tmust not
oughtn’tought not
needn’tneed not
could’vecould have
should’veshould have
would’vewould have
might’vemight have
must’vemust have
I’mI am
you’reyou are
she’sshe is, she has
he’she is, he has
it’sit is, it has
we’rewe are
they’rethey are
I’veI have
you’veyou have
we’vewe have
they’vethey have
I’llI will
you’llyou will
he’llhe will
she’llshe will
it’llit will
we’llwe will
they’llthey will
I’dI had, I would
you’dyou had, you would
she’dshe had, she would
he’dhe had, he would
it’dit had, it would
we’dwe had, we would
they’dthey had, they would
that’sthat is, that has
that’vethat have
that’dthat would
which’vewhich have
who’swho is, who has
who’rewho are
who’vewho have
who’dwho had, who would
who’llwho will
what’swhat is, what has, what does
what’rewhat are
what’llwhat will
where’swhere is, where has
where’dwhere did
when’swhen is, when has
why’swhy is, why has
why’dwhy did
how’show is, how has
here’shere is
there’sthere is, there has
there’llthere will
there’dthere had, there would
someone’ssomeone is, someone has
somebody’ssomebody is, somebody has
no one’sno one is, no one has
nobody’snobody is, nobody has
something’ssomething is, something has
nothing’snothing is, nothing has
let’slet us
o’clockof the clock

Additionally, all proper and common nouns can combine with forms of the be and have verbs as well as with the modal verbs will and would to form contractions. Such noun + verb contractions are used more often in speech than in writing.

  • Rita’s here. (Rita is)
  • The car’s here. (car is)
  • Rita’s found the keys. (Rita has)
  • Rita’d already left by then. (Rita had)
  • Rita’ll know what to do. (Rita will)
  • Rita’d know what to do. (Rita would)

Contractions are seen in all but the most formal usage. Although avoided in formal texts, such as academic and business writing, they are common in speech and informal writing. Read more in this article on when to use contractions.

Quick Quiz

What does the contraction she’s stand for?
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What does let’s mean in “Let’s go”?
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What does the contraction what’s mean?
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What can the contraction they’d mean?
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Where are contractions generally used?
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