Informal Contractions

American English

Informal contractions are shortened forms of words and phrases in English. They are used mostly in spoken English and some informal writing like texts, emails, and social media.

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Informal English contractions are similar to contractions. Contractions in English are words or phrases that are shortened by dropping one or more letters and replacing the letters with an apostrophe. This short form is often used in speaking and in informal writing.

  • wouldn't (would + not)

  • can't (can + not)

  • haven't (have + not)

  • should've (should + have)

  • she's (she + is)

  • he'd (he + would)

can be a little confusing at first, so make sure you know how they are used. You can review contractions here: Contractions in English.

Informal contractions are shortened forms of other words and phrases in English. They are like slang. Slang is a very informal way of talking. For example, you might say yeah instead of yes, or you might say cool to say you like something or agree with someone.

Here are a few examples of informal contractions:
  • gonna (going + to)

  • lemme (let + me)

  • kinda (kind + of)

  • dunno (don't + know)
If you say kind of really fast, you can shorten it to kinda by dropping the final sound. If you say don't know really fast, it shortens to dunno. These are informal contractions.

Informal contractions are very common in American English. We don't usually write them except in texts, casual emails, and informal comments on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

We should not use informal contractions in "correct" or formal speech or writing

Since informal contractions are not often written, most of the spellings are phonetic. That means that we spell them the way they sound. Some people might spell them differently than what you will see here. Also, sometimes people write them with apostrophes, and sometimes they do not use apostrophes.

Remember: These types of contractions are not correct speech.

Here are some common American English informal contractions with example sentences.

Contractions with "you"

don't you dontcha Dontcha like the movie?
didn't you didntcha Didntcha like the movie?
won't you wontcha Wontcha drive the car?
what are you whatcha or watcha Whatcha doing?
got you gotcha I gotcha!
bet you betcha Betcha can't guess the answer!

Contractions with "have"

should have shoulda I shoulda called yesterday.
could have coulda She coulda been here by 1:00.
would have woulda He woulda arrived earlier, but the train was late.
might have mighta You mighta left the bag at the airport.
must have musta You musta been in a hurry.
couldn't have couldna I couldna called because my phone was broken.
shouldn't have shouldna She shouldna told you that.
wouldn't have wouldna Nick wouldna known about the meeting.
she would have she'da She'da liked to be at the meeting today.
he would have he'da He'da liked to be there too.
I would have I'da I'da written to you, but I didn't have your address.
They would have they'da I wish they'da given me more time!
You would have you'da You'da enjoyed the concert last night.

Contractions with "of"

kind of kinda I kinda like her.
out of outta The printer is outta paper.
cup of cuppa I need a cuppa coffee.
sort of sorta I sorta need that book.
a lot of a lotta I have a lotta homework tonight.

Contractions with "to"

original words informal contraction sentence
got to gotta I gotta buy a new car.
going to gonna She is gonna be there today.
need to needa I needa go shopping soon.
want to wanna I wanna blue car.
have to hafta I hafta save some money.
has to hasta Tim hasta work today.
ought to oughta She oughta work two jobs.
supposed to supposeta I'm supposeta start the job Monday.
used to useta She useta work there too.

Other informal contractions

original words informal
give me gimme Gimme five minutes.
let me lemme Lemme see it!
tell them tellem Tellem I'll be there soon.
don't know dunno I dunno what time it is.
am not
 are not
is not

(This is very informal and considered bad English)
I ain't going to be there. 
got a gotta I gotta new job.
come on c'mon C'mon! We don't want to be late!
some more s'more Can I have s'more water?

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Informal Contractions

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