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Unit 27. I' ll Get It. These're Mine.

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Contracted Forms

Unit 27; Part A

A number of function words (see Unit 21) have contracted forms, written with an apostrophe:

contracted
form
function
word
pronunciation
'd
had, would 
/d/ after vowels: I'd already seen it.
/∂d/ after consonants:
It'd be wonderful.
's    
is, has
/s/ after /p,t,k,f,θ/: It's interesting.
/z/ after other sounds:
She's left.
'll
will
/l/: I'll get it.
've
have
/v/ after vowels: You've got a letter.
/∂v/ after consonants:
I could've gone.
're
are
/∂r/ before a vowel: We're all right.
/∂/ before a consonant:
We're winning.
n't
not
/nt/: I haven't got any.
       
We don't use these contracted forms (except n't) at the end of a sentence:

         I'm sure he will. (not: he'll.)

note.jpgNote: am is contracted in I'm and us is contracted in let's.

Unit 27; Part B

In speech, we ofen use these contracted forms after -
  • wh- words    Who'll be there?     Why's he doing that?
  • nouns     The Smiths've gone away.      Now'd be a good time.
  • this, that, these, those     These're mine.       This'll be fne.
  • there       There're some over here.      There'll be rain later.

note.jpgNote: did is sometimes contracted to 'd afer wh- words:
Why'd you do that?
( = Why did you do that?)

note.jpgNote: These contracted forms are less common in writing.

Unit 27; Part C

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
26.1.jpgln speech, we sometimes contract two consecutive words:
        would/will + have  l'll've finished it by tomorrow.
                                      He'd've loved to have been there.

        not + have             She couldn't've known about it.
                                      I wouldn't've minded doing it.


note.jpgNote: These contracted forms are very uncommon in writing.
 
  

Unit 27; Part D

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
In informal speech, the contractions 'd (had) and 've (have) are sometimes left out in the verbs had better and have got to (see also Unit 28):
         You ('d) better apologise to her.
         You ('ve) gotta ( = got to) be joking.
 
 

 



Exercises

flag.jpgFirst listen and repeat just the A parts, focusing on the contracted forms. Then match the A parts with the B parts.

Key.1 4
2 1
3 6
4 2
5 7
6 3
7 5

1    A: He's leaving now.  
2    A: We're arriving at ten.    
3    A: I haven't got any money on me.
4    A: Do you think it'd be okay to camp here?  
5    A: You should've taken the job.  
6    A: I suppose you've heard Kathy's idea?  
7    A: I'm starving. 
1___ B: Let's ask the farmer.
2  1   B: I thought he'd gone already.
3___ B: Yes, I think it's ridiculous.
4___ B: It'll be good to see you.
5___ B: Well, let's eat now.
6___ B: Don't worry. I've got my credit card.
7___ B: You're right. I should.

Now listen and check your answers. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows.
 
27.1.jpgflag.jpgUnderline words which could be contracted in these sentences. Then read the sentences aloud with contracted forms.
Key.1 My feet'll get wet because my shoes've got holes in.
2 There's no butter, but this'll do instead.
3 I'm sure Ann'd help if she could.
4 How'd they know we'd be there? (Note that 'did' in 'How did . . .' is less likely to be contracted than other words in this exercise.)
5 Adam's phoned to say he isn't ready to go yet, but he'll call again when he is.
6 There've been four parcels delivered for you while you've been away.
7 What'll you do if Tom's already gone?


Example: Those are too big, but these will fit.

1    My feet will get wet because my shoes have got holes in.
2    There is no butter, but this will do instead.
3    I am sure Ann would help if she could.
4    How did they know we would be there?
5    Adam has phoned to say he is not ready to go yet, but he will call again when he is.
6    There have been four parcels delivered for you while you have been away.
7    What will you do if Tom has already gone?

 

Now listen and check your answers.
 
flag.jpgListen. Write what you hear in each space. Use contracted forms, but also think about what the non-contracted forms would be.
Key.1 I'd've bought some more coffee if I'd known we'd run out. (= I  would have; I had; we had)
2 The film won't've started yet, so we've got lots of time. (= will not have; we have)
3 I suppose they'll've closed by now, so we better come back tomorrow. (= they will have; we had better)
4 I wouldn't've gone if there'd been anything good on TV. (= I would not have; there had)
5 A: I shouldn't've had that last slice of pizza.  B: I told you it'd make you feel sick! (= I should not have; it would)
 

1     I'd  bought some more coffee if _______ known _______ run out.
2    The film _______ started yet, so _______ got lots of time.
3    I suppose _______ closed by now, so _______ come back tomorrow.
4    _______ gone if _______ been anything good on TV.
5    A:  _______ had that last slice of pizza. B: I told you _______ make you feel sick!
27.2.jpg
 


Follow up: The lyrics to pop songs often contain contracted forms. Find lyrics to songs you know. Which song contains the most contracted forms? Can you say (or sing!) them all fluently?

 
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