Short forms (contractions): I’m, he’s, she’s, don’t, let’s, etc.

We often use short forms (called contractions) in spoken English. For instance, instead of saying I am here, we often say I’m here. Instead of he is late, we say he’s late.

When we write a short form, we replace the missing letter with (called an apostrophe).

Short forms (contractions):
I’m, he’s, we’re, etc.
I he, she, it we, you, they
am = ’m I’m
is = ’s he’s, she's, it's
are = ’re we’re, you’re, they’re
have = ’ve I've we've, you've, they've
has = ’s he's, she's, it's
would = ’d I'd he'd, she'd, it'd we'd, you'd, they'd
will = ’ll I'll he'll, she'll, it'll we'll, you'll, they'll
Short forms (contractions) of negatives:
don't, doesn't, haven't, etc.
isn’t (= is not) hasn’t (= has not) don’t (= do not) can’t (= cannot)
aren’t (= are not) haven’t (= have not) doesn’t (= does not) couldn’t (= could not)
wasn’t (= was not) hadn’t (= had not) didn’t (= did not) won’t (= will not)
weren’t (= were not) wouldn’t (= would not)
shouldn’t (= should not)
mustn’t (= must not)
needn’t (= need not)
mightn’t (= might not)
daren’t (= dare not)

The contraction ’s can mean is or has

  • He’s going to the cinema. (= ‘he is going’)
  • He’s gone to the cinema. (= ‘he has gone’)
  • It’s getting dark. (= ‘it is getting’)
  • It’s got dark. (= ‘it has got’)

See a further explanation and more examples: It’s = it is or it has. How to tell the difference.

The contraction ’d can mean would or had

  • I’d = I would or I had
  • 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

See a full explanation with more examples: I’d = would or I had.

Let’s = let us

  • It’s sunny – let’s go to the park for a picnic. (= ‘let us go’)
  • It’s raining – let’s watch a film at home. (= ‘let us watch’)

How’s, what’s, etc.

We often use some short forms with question words (how, which, what, etc.) in spoken English:

Short forms (contractions) of question words:
how, who, what, etc.
who who’s = who is Who’s that man over there?
who who’d = who would Who’d like some tea?
who who’ll = who will Who’ll be here tomorrow?
what what’s = what is What’s for dinner?
what what’ll = what will What’ll happen if . . . ?
how how’s = how is How’s your father?
where where’s = where is Where’s the nearest shop?
when when’s = when is When’s your birthday?

Here’s, there’s, that’s

We can also use some short forms with here, there, and that:

Short forms (contractions):
here, there, that
here here’s = here is Here’s the kitchen and here’s the bathroom.
there there’s = there is There’s a great pub in the village.
there there’d = there would If people drove less, there’d be less pollution.
there there’ll = there will If you come early, there’ll be more time to talk.
that that’s = that is That’s my house over there.