+150 Contracted Forms of Verbs (Simple Guide)

In English grammar, we might use the contracted form of a verb when we are speaking or writing informally.

Let’s look at a list of contracted forms of verbs (with their expanded form) so you know how to use them:

Contracted Forms of Verbs List

What is the contracted form of a verb?

A contraction is a shortened form of a verb that is used when two words are combined to form one.

This involves removing one or more letters and adding an apostrophe to create a new word. For example, “I am” becomes “I’m.”

When are contracted forms used?

Contracted forms are used frequently in everyday spoken language and informal written language, such as e-mails and text messages.

They cannot be used in formal, academic writing, or professional documents where each word needs to be spelled out completely.

Common Contracted Forms of Verbs

The following is a list of common contracted forms of verbs:

  • I am – I’m
  • I am not – I ain’t
  • Let us – Let’s
  • I will – I’ll
  • We will – We’ll
  • I would – I’d
  • We are – We’re
  • You will – You’ll
  • You would – You’d
  • He is – He’s
  • She is – She’s
  • It is – It’s
  • She has – She’s
  • He has – He’s
  • It has – It’s
  • We have – We’ve
  • They have – They’ve
  • Where is – Where’s
  • Who is – Who’s
  • There is – There’s
  • They are – They’re
  • They will – They’ll
  • Might have – Might’ve
  • Must have – must’ve

Negative Common Contractions

  • Is not – Isn’t
  • Are not – Aren’t
  • Can not – Can’t
  • Was not – Wasn’t
  • Could not – Couldn’t
  • Did not – Didn’t
  • Have not – Haven’t
  • Had not – Hadn’t
  • Has not – Hasn’t
  • Should not – Shouldn’t
  • Would not – Wouldn’t
  • Were not – Weren’t
  • Will not – Won’t

While contracted forms of verbs are usually informal in nature, it is always best to use the full form in a formal context.

Contractions With The Verb HAVE

Here are some shortened forms of the verb “have.”

  • I have – I’ve
  • You have – You’ve
  • He has – He’s
  • She has – She’s
  • It has – It’s
  • We have – We’ve
  • They have – They’ve
  • I have not – I haven’tI’ve not
  • You have not – You haven’t – You’ve not
  • He has not – He hasn’t – He’s not
  • She has not – She hasn’t – She’s not
  • It has not – It hasn’t – It’s not
  • We have not got – We haven’t – We’ve not
  • They have not got – They haven’t – they’ve not

The contracted form “haven’t” is more common than the contraction with not. However, this may vary depending on the region you are living.

Example sentences:

We have not met. We’ve not met (less common). We haven’t met (more common).

Contractions With The Verb HAVE (Past Form)

  • I had – I’d
  • You had – You’d
  • He had – He’d
  • She had – She’d
  • It had – It’d
  • We had – We’d
  • They had – They’d
  • I had not – I hadn’t – I’d not
  • You had not – You hadn’t – You’d not
  • He had not – He hadn’t – He’d Not
  • She had not – She hadn’t – She’d Not
  • It had not – It hadn’t – It’d Not
  • We had not – We hadn’t – We’d Not
  • They had not – They hadn’t – They’d Not

In American English, instead of saying:

“I have a new toy” they prefer to say, “I’ve got a new toy.” This is informal. However, “I’ve a new toy” is also correct; it’s just less common.

However, “has” can never be contracted when it’s the main verb in the sentence and in the third person present tense (he, she, it).

For example:

  • She has food.

“She’s food.” This is incorrect. Instead, we can say, “She’s got food”

  • He has a bicycle.

“He’s a bicycle.” This is incorrect. Instead, we can say, “He’s got a new bicycle.”

However, if “have” is the auxiliary (helping) verb, then we can contract the verb:

  • He has arrived.

“He’s arrived.” This is correct, as the main verb is “arrive” and not have.

  • It has snowed.

“It’s snowed.” This is correct as the main verb is “snow” and not have.

Contractions With The Verb BE

  • I am – I’m
  • You are – You’re
  • He is – He’s
  • She is – She’s
  • It is – It’s
  • We are – We’re
  • They are – They’re
  • There is – There’s
  • How is – How’s
  • What is – What’s
  • Where is – Where’s
  • Here is – Here’s
  • You are not – you aren’t – you’re not
  • He is not – he isn’t – he’s not
  • She is not – she isn’t – she’s not
  • It is not – it isn’t – it’s not
  • We are not – we aren’t – we’re not
  • They are not – they aren’t – they’re not

The contracted form “isn’t/aren’t” and “not” are used interchangeably and you will hear both said.

If you want to emphasize that you are not involved in something, you might be more inclined to use the “not” contracted form when speaking, although either contracted form is perfectly fine.

For example, “she’s not a liar.”

Contractions with the Verb BE (Past Form)

  • I was not – I wasn’t
  • You were not – You weren’t
  • He was not – he wasn’t
  • She was not – she wasn’t
  • It was not – it wasn’t
  • We were not – we weren’t
  • They were not – they weren’t

You can also use the contracted form with a noun, for example, “the dog’s on the sofa” (the dog is on the sofa) and “Alice’s here” (Alice is here).

Again this is informal and is more common when speaking.

Contractions with the verb DO

  • I do not – I don’t
  • You do not – You don’t
  • He does not – He doesn’t
  • She does not – She doesn’t
  • We do not – We don’t
  • They do not – They don’t

Contractions with the Verb DO (Past Form)

  • I did not – I didn’t
  • You did not – You didn’t
  • He did not – He didn’t
  • She did not – She didn’t
  • It did not – It didn’t
  • We did not – We didn’t
  • They did not – They didn’t

Contractions With The Modal Verb WILL

  • I will – I’ll
  • He will – He’ll
  • She will – She’ll
  • It will – It’ll
  • We will – We’ll
  • They will – They’ll
  • I will not – I won’t – I’ll not
  • He will not – He won’t – He’ll not
  • She will not – She won’t – She’ll not
  • It will not – It won’t – It’ll not
  • We will not – We won’t – We’ll not
  • They will not – They won’t – They’ll not

Nowadays, most people say “won’t” instead of “not.”

For example,

  • “I’ll not go to the dance.” (old-fashioned; not common)
  • I won’t go to the dance.” (more common)

Contractions with the modal verb WOULD

  • I would – I’d
  • He would – He’d
  • She would – She’d
  • It would – It’d
  • We would – We’d
  • They would – They’d
  • I would not – I wouldn’t – I’d not
  • He would not – He wouldn’t – He’d not
  • She would not- She wouldn’t- She’d not
  • It would not – It wouldn’t – It’d not
  • We would not – We wouldn’t – We’d not
  • They would not – They’d not- They’d not

“I’d not” is grammatically correct but sounds odd to native English speakers as it is not used. It is most more common to say I wouldn’t, he wouldn’t, she wouldn’t, etc.

Contractions with the modal verb WOULD (Past Form)

  • I would have – I would’ve – I’d have
  • You would have – You would’ve – You’d have
  • He would have – He would’ve – He’d have
  • She would have – She would’ve – She’d have
  • It would have – It would’ve – It’d have
  • We would have – We would’ve – We’d have
  • They would have- They would’ve – They’d have
  • I would not have – I wouldn’t have- I’d not have
  • He would not have – He wouldn’t have- He’d not have
  • She would not have – She wouldn’t have- She’d not have
  • It would not have – It wouldn’t have- It’d not have
  • We would not have – We wouldn’t have- We’d not have
  • They would not have – They would’ve – They’d not have

“I’d not have” is grammatically correct but sounds strange to native English speakers as it is not spoken. It is most more common to say I wouldn’t have, he wouldn’t have, she wouldn’t have, etc.

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Short Forms of Other Modal Verbs

The modals can, may, must, should, and can also be contracted when used as auxiliaries. For example, “He can’t do it,” “She shouldn’t have come,” and “I wouldn’t have done it.”

  • Cannot – Can’t
  • Can Not Have – Can’t’ve
  • Must not – Mustn’t
  • Must not have – Mustn’t’ve
  • Should not- Shouldn’t
  • Should not have – Shouldn’t’ve
  • Shall not – Shan’t
  • Shall not have – Shalln’t’ve
  • Used not – Usen’t – Usedn’t
  • Could not – Couldn’t
  • Could not have – Couldn’t’ve
  • Might not – Mightn’t
  • Might not have – Mightn’t’ve
  • Ought not to – Oughtn’t to
  • Ought not have – Oughtn’t’ve
  • Need not – Needn’t
  • Need not have – Needn’t’ve
  • Will not – Won’t
  • Will not have – Won’t’ve
  • Dare not – Daren’t
  • Dare not have – Daren’t’ve
  • Had Not – Hadn’t

Some of the contractions are rare and awkward, like “oughtn’t’ve” and “usedn’t.”

In Conclusion

The contracted forms of verbs are informal and are used more commonly in speech.

It is good to know them in case you hear them in spoken English, and their usage varies depending on the region.

I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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