contractions in English

contractions in English

contraction is a word or a group of words that has been shortened by dropping one or more letters. In most contractions, an apostrophe represents the missing letters.

A few examples of contractions in English are:

I am = I’m

I have = I’ve

They are = They’re

You cannot = You can’t

We use contractions in places where space is at a premium, such as in advertising. They are informal “shortcuts” that we often take in our everyday speech.

Instead of saying “Do not disturb me.,” we shorten it to “Don’t disturb me.”

These shortcuts in English are used in dialogue or speech when we want our writing to reflect our way of speaking. However, we should avoid contractions in formal writing.



contractions in grammar anchor chart for second grade and third grade


The above anchor chart that can also be used as a wall display explains contractions in English with examples. Contractions are also called ‘short forms.’ They combine a pronoun or a noun and a verb, or a verb and not, in a shorter form.


She is not is contracted to she isn’t or she’s not.

He is not coming tonight. —-> He isn’t coming tonight.


I am not is only contracted to I’m not. Not: I’m n’t or I am n’t.

I am not into sports. —-> I ‘m not into sports.


A good way to explain contractions to children is using a rubber band. Expand it and then contract it to make them understand the concept.


contractions in english worksheets for second grade and third grade


Sometimes you have to read the entire sentence to make sense of the contraction.

The contraction he’s can mean ‘He is’ or ‘He has.’

He’s the team coach. —–> He is

He’s been working since 8:00 a.m. ——> He has

Here are some similar examples:

She’s – she is or she has

Who’s – who is or who has

It’s – it is or it has


The contraction I’d can mean “I would” or “I had.”

Here are some similar examples:

You’d = you would or you had
He’d = he would or he had
She’d = she would or she had
It’d = it would or it had
We’d = we would or we had
They’d = they would or they had

We can often tell if I’d means “I would” or “I had” simply by looking at the context of the sentence.



contractions in english grammar worksheets for second grade and third grade


There or they’re

Your or you’re

Its or it’s

The above contractions are often misused or misunderstood even by adults. It is important to discuss and understand these contractions to avoid making common mistakes in the future. I have prepared lessons and worksheets for the above commonly confused words and contractions. You can download them by clicking on the links.

This set of ten worksheets and an anchor chart will help children practice and understand contractions. This pack is free for subscribers to download.