How to speak English fast and sound like a native speaker! English Contractions
To begin, we need to understand what a contraction really is. The word “contract” means to decrease in size or number. Think of the word shrink as a synonym. If we take this definition, it’s easy to see that a contraction will be shrinking, or decreasing the number of words or letters in speech. This will not only allow you to speak English fast, but these contractions are actually easier to say and pronounce than the original words, making this technique super easy for both beginners or advanced English learners.
Let’s take a look at the general structure of an English contraction!
Here’s what you need to remember:
- Contractions shorten words by removing letters
- Most contractions involve the use of an apostrophe ( ‘ )
- The apostrophe represents the missing letters
- Most contractions are made up of a verb and Auxiliary
I (Auxiliary) + Have (Verb) = I’ve
What is easier to say? I have or I’ve? The second is definitely quicker and easier, allowing English speakers to sound more relaxed when they’re speaking. You probably have noticed these English contractions all over the place without realizing what they are! We use them often in writing as well, as you can see I’ve (haha) done here. Of course, using English contractions can make you sound less formal and so they are not recommended in business English or when writing formal papers, essays, emails, etc. In general, English contractions are used more while speaking than in writing.
What are the most common English contractions to speak English fast?
Alright, now that you understand what a contraction is and how to use them, it’s important to notice which words can be turned into contractions and which cannot. Here are the most commonly used English contractions with example sentences to help you better understand when to use them!
I + Am = I’m
Example: I’m going to the park today.
I + Will= I’ll
Example: I’ll clean the house tomorrow.
It + Is = It’s
Example: It’s raining outside.
I + Have= I’ve
Example: I’ve got twenty dollars.
I + Would= I’d
Example: I’d rather swim in the ocean than in a pool.
He + Is = He’s
Example: He’s really sad today.
She + Is= She’s
Example: She’s a teacher.
Might + Have= Might’ve
Example: I might’ve said yes if I was in a good mood.
There + Is= There’s
Example: There’s a lot of people here.
What + Is= What’s
Example: What’s the problem?
Who + Is= Who’s
Example: Who’s that guy over there?
Who + Will= Who’ll
Example: Who’ll help me carry this?
English contractions with “not”
The general rule with English contractions involving the word “not”, is to add both words together, remove the “O” and add an apostrophe. Of course, some of these have exceptions. This is a very easy way to speak English fast.
Can + Not= Can’t
Example: I can’t go to school today.
Do + Not= Don’t
Example: I don’t like chocolate.
Did + Not= Didn’t
Example: I didn’t see that movie.
Should + Not= Shouldn’t
Example: You shouldn’t cheat on tests.
Must + Not= Mustn’t
Example: You mustn’t treat people this way.
Has + Not= Hasn’t
Example: She hasn’t called me today.
Will + Not= Won’t
Example: I won’t tell you my secret.
Have + Not= Haven’t
Example: I haven’t bought my ticket yet.
Are + Not= Aren’t
Example: You still aren’t hungry?
Was + Not= Wasn’t
Example: My mom wasn’t home this morning.
While there are many English contractions in the world, those were the most common ones that will help you out to start using these shortcuts in your everyday English. Remember that the more you practice, the more natural these will become for you, and you will be able to understand and speak English fast.
Informal English Contractions to sound like a native speaker!
Now let’s take a look at informal contractions. These are the shortcuts you would hear native English speakers say, but hardly ever write. If you are texting a friend, then it’s okay to write these contractions, however, we wouldn’t use these in properly written work.
Got + To = Gotta
Example: I’ve gotta go home.
Am + Not= Ain’t’
Example: I ain’t funny.
Going + T0= Gonna
Example: I’m gonna buy it.
Want + To= Wanna
Example: Wanna go out tonight?
Let + Me= Lemme
Example: Lemme see what you’re doing.
Kind + Of= Kinda
Example: You’re kinda cute.
Out + Of= Outta
Example: I’m outta money.
Don’t + Know= Dunno
Example: I dunno what to do.
Ought + To = Oughta
Example: You oughta tell her the truth.
Got + You= Gotcha
Example: I gotcha a present.
Would + Have= Woulda
Example: I woulda gone if it wasn’t raining.
Give + Me= Gimme
Example: Gimme five more minutes.
There it is! Our top list of English contractions you should know if you’re trying to learn how to speak English fast and sound more fluent! Try using some of these contractions today and I promise you, you’ll be able to speak faster than if you did not use them. If you’d like to hear how these contractions sound out loud by a native speaker, check out our episode all about this on The English Journey Podcast (Episode #3). We post weekly podcast episodes to help English language learners all over the world.
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