Contractions

Contractions are commonly used in English. Contractions are the reductions in word sounds by the dropping of a letter or letters in the word.

 Listen to the items below on how to pronounce contractions.

Pronunciation of the contraction of Will

Listen to the following contraction of pronouns and names. First, the words are spoken separately, then with the contraction, and finally used in a sentence.

 

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 I will              I’ll

 I’ll be there by 7:00.

 

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you will         you’ll

You’ll have to do it yourself.

 

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he will           he’ll

He’ll never agree. 

 

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she will         she’ll

She’ll probably be here late.

 

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we will          we’ll

We’ll get together later. 

 

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they will        they’ll

They’ll be going to Spain nex year.  

 

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It will             it’ll

It’ll probable rain tomorrow.

 

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John will      John’ll

John’ll be a doctor when he grows up.

 

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Clancy will   Clancy’ll

Clnacy’ll be a clown in the circus.

 

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what will       what’ll

What’ll you do in the meantime?

 

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who will        who’ll

Who’ll you be seeing tonight?

 

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where will     where’ll

Where’ll you go when this is all over?

 

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there will       there’ll

There’ll be donuts and coffee served during the breaks.

 

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that will        that’ll

That’ll be the day.

 

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this will        this’ll

This’ll do for now.

 

Pronunciation of the contraction of ‘to be ‘ verbs 

Listen to the following contractions. First, the words are spoken separately, then with the contraction, and finally used in a sentence.

 

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I am             I’m I’m going to be late for work. 
 

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we are        we’re We’re celebrating the holiday in Aspen. 
 

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they are      they’are They’re glad you came.  
 

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it is              it’s It’s cold in here.
 

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car is          car’s My car’s running well after the tune-up. 
 

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Bob is        Bob’s Bob’s never going to amount to much. 
 

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what is       what’s What’s the matter with you?

 Note– they’re, there, and their are all pronounced the same.

Note: When the past tense ‘were’ is contracted, it sounds just like the
contraction for ‘are’. Because of this,’were’ is not usually
contracted because it causes confusion for listeners.

Pronunciation of the contraction of modal verbs 

Listen to the following contractions. First, the words are spoken separately, then with the contraction, and finally used in a sentence.

 

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should have  should’ve You should’ve done your homework. 
 

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could have  could’ve I could’ve had a V-8. 
 

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must have  must’ve He must’ve answered incorrectly.
 

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might have  might’ve She might’ve eaten it already.

  Note:  If a vowel follows ‘have’, it is commonly pronounced as uhv. If a
consonant follows have’ it is commonly pronounced as uh.

Pronunciation of the contraction of Wh- question words and have and has-

Listen to the following contractions. First, the words are spoken separately, then with the contraction, and finally used in a sentence.

 

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how have       how’ve How’ve you been doing? 
 

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how has         how’s How’s the meeting been going? 
 

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why have        why’ve Why’ve you come so early? 
 

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why has          why’s Why’s the TV been turned off? 
 

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who have       who’ve Who’ve you invited to the party? 
 

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who has         who’s Who’s she been dating lately?

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when have when’ve When’ve you ever been here?

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when has       when’s When’s your mother ever cooked stew? 
 

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where have   where’ve Where’ve you traveled in Japan? 
 

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where has     where’s Where’s dad been all night?  
 

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what have     what’ve What’ve you done yo my hair?
 

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what has       what’s What’s happened to my pie? 

Pronunciation of the contraction with Wh words and did, would and had

Listen to the following contractions. First, the words are spoken separately, then with the contraction, and finally used in a sentence.

 

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where did      where’d Where’d you go?   
 

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what did         what’d What’d you do there? 
 

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how did          how’d How’d you get there?         
 

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why did          why’d Why’d you decide to go? 
 

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when did        when’d When’d you leave?    
 

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that would      that’d That’d be most kind of you.   
 

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what would     what’d What’d you do in my shoes?   
 

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she would      she’d She’d travel to France if she could.         
 

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that had          that’d That’d better work. 
 

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what had        what’d What’d he done before that?  
 

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she had         she’d She’d gone before I got there. 

 Note: When ‘had’ and ‘would’ are pronounced in the contracted form they
both sound alike, so the listener must rely on the context of the
sentence to determine if the speaker means ‘would’ or ‘had’.

Pronunciation of negative contractions

Many times a native speaker does not pronounce the final ‘t’ in a negative contraction (can not= can’t, do not =don’t, have not= haven’t). The pronunciation is replaced by a glottal stop.

Listen to these sound changes. The first phrase is with proper enunciation,the second phrase is with the sound changes. Then the word is used in a sentence.

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wouldn’t becomes wouldn’      Why wouldn’t you go to the dance with me?

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couldn’t becomes couldn’        I couldn’t do it because I was sick.

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shouldn’t becomes shouldn’     He shouldn’t have eaten the apple.

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doesn’t becomes doesn’         Larry doesn’t study hard enough.



How to pronounce the contractions in English -www.pronunciationtips.com