Basic English: How to pronounce contractions


Hello. I'm Gill, at engVid; and today, we have a lesson on contractions. So,

these are contractions where you have an apostrophe, which represents some

missing letters. And these are used with pronouns, personal pronouns, and the

verb. It can be the verb: "to be", or "to have"; or others, like: "would" and

"will". And these often happen when people are speaking, because it's

quicker and easier to say: "I'm" — "I'm here and you're there"; instead of: "I

am here; you are there". It's quicker. But sometimes you do also see them

written; printed. For example, if speech is being quoted. If someone's quoting

what somebody said, if they said it with contractionsor "abbreviations", as

they're also calledthen it would be written that way, with the apostrophe.

But I've noticed that people sometimes get a bit confused with these; they're

not quite sure how to pronounce them, and I've noticed sometimes people

actually expand them. So, they might say: "I am" or "I have", when they're

reading from printed material; when they should really be saying: "I'm", "I've".

So, this lesson is to clarify both how to write them, and what verbs they

represent; because sometimes, there are two possibilities. Sometimes, here, it

could be either: "is" or "has", which is being abbreviated; and in this column,

it could be "had" or it could be "would", which is being abbreviated, and

you only know from the context. Okay. So, let's just go through. I think we'll

go a column at a time, so that we're staying with the same verb or verbs each

time, and working through the personal pronouns. Okay?

So, starting with: "I" — "I'm", which means: "I am". It's the verb "to be".

Okay. Is the verb "to be". So: "I'm"; "you're", which means "you are". Okay.

"You're"; "he's", meaning "he is"; "she's" — "she is"; "it's" — "it is";

"we're", that's "we are"; and "they're" — "they are". Okay. So, just the

pronunciation, there, it's important to know: "I'm", "you're", "he's", "she's",

"it's", "we're" — that's almost two syllables, there. "We're", "we're".

"We're coming to the party". It's almost two syllables: "we're". And "they're" —

that's one syllable. But "they're". So, it's a bit similar. Well, it sounds the

same as two other words, actually. "Over there", "over there", which is spelt:

"t–⁠h–⁠e–⁠r–⁠e"; and "their car", the possessive — "t–⁠h–⁠e–⁠i–⁠r", "their

car". This doesn't sound any different, but you know it's... you know what it is

from the context. So: "we're"; "they're", meaning "they are". Okay? So,

that's... that's the... the verb "to be". But, also, "has" — it could be the

verb "to have" if you're saying: "he has" — "he has got a car", "he's got a

car" means: "he has got". "She's got a car" or "she has got". "It's" — if it's

a dog: "it's got a bone"; "the dog has got a bone"; "it has got a bone". So,

sometimes, it can be the verb "has", rather than the verb "is". It's: "he is"

Okay. So, then we come to the verb "to have", and... you... it doesn't...

there's nothing here, because we have "has", which is the other part of the

verb "to have", and we've already just covered thatthat's why this is blank,

here. Okay. So, this is all to do with "have". So, the "v–⁠e" of "have" is

there, with the apostrophe representing the missing letters. Okay. So: "I've" is

"I have"; "you've" is "you have"; "we've" — "we have"; "they've" — "they

have". So: "I've", "you've", "we've", "they've". Okay? Okay, then. So, the

next column. So, the verb, here, can either be "had" — that's the past tense

of "have", "had" — or "would", the conditional modal verb. Okay? So: "I'd",

"you'd", "he'd", "she'd". Now, this is a funny one: "it'd". So, you need an extra

syllable, here, to get the "d" in: "it'd", "it'd". Okay. And then back to

single syllable, again: "we'd", "they'd". So, it could be: "I had" or "I

or "he has"; "she is" or "she has"; "it is" or "it has". Okay. Just with those

would". Okay. "You had" or "you would"; "he had" or "he would"; "she had" or

"she would"; "it had" or "it would"; "we had" or "we would"; "they had" or "they

would". Okay? So, just again: "I'd", "you'd", "he'd", "she'd", "it'd"

"we'd", "they'd". Okay? And you onl know from the context of the ful

sentence or the phrase, whether it's "had" or "would". Okay. And then

finally, with the future: "will". So "I'll", "you'll", "he'll", so that'

like two syllables, really. "He'll" "she'll", "it'll", "we'll", "they'll"

So, that... these are all, more or less two syllablesokaymeaning: "

will", "you will", "he will", etc. So "I'll", "you'll", "he'll", "she'll"


"it'll", "we'll", "they'll". Okay

So, I hope that helps to clarify how to write them and how to pronounce them,

and what... which verbs they're... they're using. Because with missing

letters, you might not know until you look at the context, whether it's: "had"

or "would", or "is" or "has". Okay. So, okay. So, there's a quiz that you can do

to test your knowledge on this. If you go to, give the quiz a

try; see how you do. And thank you for watching, and hope to see you again

soon. Okay. Bye for now.