Thursday, August 30, 2012

Apostraphe's in Contractions

Okay, here comes the grammar police! :)

Good grammar is important, even though many people like to think it's outdated. My husband and I frequently argue over this. And when it comes to verbal communication, I tend to agree with most of my husband's arguments. Good grammar isn't as important when verbally communicating because there are so many other cues used to clear up misconceptions.

However, written grammar is extremely important because those cues have been removed! The reader can ask for clarification if it's a blog format or a chat window, but response times vary between quickly and never. So here's a quick mini-lesson on the use of the apostraphe as a contraction.

It's really very easy. You take two words that are near each other in a sentence, remove some letters, and put the contraction in place. Common examples:
can not = can't
do not = don't
will not = won't
I have = I've
You have = You've
I am = I'm
She would = She'd
It is = It's
Here is = Here's
See a pattern there?  Generally, the first word retains it's original form and everything except for the last letter or two is removed from the second letter (except for Will Not...I don't know why it contracts the way it does).

There you have it! Go ahead and play around with it. But remember, the odder you get, the less likely people are to understand you. ;)

Work Sheet will be coming!


  1. We knew a kid who used to say "I amn't!" It was funny. I can never remember which it's/its is which. I know one of them doesn't have an apostrophe, but I can't remember if it is the contraction or the possessive one. Then there are things like plural numbers. Like F-16's. That just looks wrong to me, but would it be F-16s? That looks wrong too.

    Another blogger I read once said "wan't." I wan'ted to barf.

    1. We both know a guy who would say "amn't" all the time. ;) The easiest way to remember which "it's/its" to use it to "decontract" it so that it's "it is" instead. The plural never has an apostrophe (that's a newer change from when we were in school).

      I was going to do a complete overview of contractions...then realized that there is to much to go over. So I'm chunking it up instead. :) BTW, you inspired me to talk about this. ;)