A contraction is a shortened form of two words. One or more letters are omitted and an apostrophe (’) is used in place of the letters left out. A contraction is formed by combining pronouns and the verbs am, is, are, will, would, have, has, and had.
Pronoun + verb Contraction Pronoun + verb Contraction
I am I’m I have I’ve
He is he’s he has he’s
It is it’s it has it’s
You are you’re you have you’ve
They are they’re they have they’ve
I will I’ll I had I’d
You will you’ll you had you’d
We would we’d we had we’d
(1) Some contractions look the same but are formed from different words.
Examples: he is, he has = he’s
We had, we would = we’d
(2) Some possessive pronouns sound like contractions.
Because the words sound alike, they are sometimes confused.
Examples: Possessive pronouns Contractions
Incorrect: The team celebrated it’s victory.
Correct: The team celebrated its victory.
Incorrect: Your late for the preps.
Correct: You’re late for the preps.
Incorrect: Whose the fastest runner in the world?
Correct: Who’s the fastest runner in the world?
Rules of using possessive pronouns and contractions correctly
- If the word you want to use stands for two words, it is a contraction and needs an apostrophe.
- Never use an apostrophe in a possessive pronoun.
Write the contractions for the following word pairs.
Example: It has = it’s
- You will 3. He had 5. You have
- We would 4. I am 6. they will
What pronoun and verb make up each of the following contractions?
Example: It’s = it is, it has
- I’ll 3. You’d
- We’re 4. He’s
Choose the correct word given in brackets in the following sentences.
- The Cameroon government has worked hard to improve (its, it’s) educational system.
- (Whose, Who’s) going to decide where the guests will sleep?
- (Their, they’re) learning French their school.
- Only students (whose, who’s) scores are excellent will join national schools.
- (Its, It’s) been estimated that about 8 million Kenyans are living with HIV AIDS.