Contraction means to shorten a word or phrase by omitting one or more sounds or letters from it. The word so formed is also called a contraction. Discussed below are the various contractions used in spoken English. The apostrophe has two uses:
- To show that we have made words shorter. We have contracted them.
- To show that something belongs to someone, i.e. they possess it. (Possession) Here are two examples.
- My dad’s car is red. Here we have only one dad but we have put on the letter’s’ because we have put an apostrophe. It shows that the car belongs to dad.
- “it’ll tell you that later,” he whispered. I will has become I’ll, we have joined two words and missed out the letters WI and put in the apostrophe instead. We use apostrophes because it can make our writing easier to read. In the list below we are going to look at apostrophes for contracting words.
- I would’ve finished had I had the time = I would have finished had I had the time
- I would’ve got there sooner, but the train was late = I would have got there sooner, but the train was late
- We would’ve had the picnic had it not rained = we would have had the picnic had it not rained
The first English lesson should deal with pronunciation. When you don’t do pronunciation first, you have to do something else than pronunciation. And then whatever you do and if it involves speaking, then bad pronunciation habits are formed. If you don’t know how to pronounce and yet you pronounce your own way at the beginning of your learning, then you are building your habits in the wrong way. Learning words without pronunciation on the first lesson is damaging. There are two possibilities that are recommended: (1) learn pronunciation from the beginning and speak from the beginning, (2) learn without pronunciation, but do not speak (you will start speaking at a later stage – after learning pronunciation). The idea is not to have ‘perfect’ pronunciation from the beginning but ‘correct’ – understood in the following sense: (1) use the right sounds – perhaps your own versions of the English sounds, but make sure that there is a clear correspondence between your own sounds and the English sounds (2) always stress the right syllable. Additionally, it’s a good idea to be able to phonetically transcribe your own English output. This means that you will have conscious control over your output. You will have a ‘digital perception’ of your pronunciation – as opposed to an ‘analog perception’, which is usually developed by learners.
If you have a digital perception of your pronunciation, you have the following advantage: If, through practice, you have mastered the ability to produce a particular English sound, say [@], you will be able to incorporate this new ability into each occurrence of this sound in your utterances because in every word you utter you know whether it contains this sound or not. (Learners who don’t have a digital perception can learn to perfectly pronounce ‘cat’ and still be unable to say ‘man’ properly.)
DON’T WORRY about fluency'” speaking slowly is OK.
English learners are often worried about their lack of fluency. They need much time to build sentences and this worries them. They would like to speak as fast as in their native language. Please notice that building sentences in a foreign language is a real challenge for the brain. There are chemical processes that take place in the brain before a sentence can be built in a foreign language. Those processes take more time than building sentences in one’s native language.At least in the beginning. Fluency comes with time and practice and it should not to be expected in the beginning of learning. If you are an English learner who worries about lack of fluency, please remember these words: When you speak too fast, your brain does not have the time to build correct sentences. You have to speak so slowly that your brain has the time to think about building sentences in English.
The following list of 70 groups of homophones contains only the most common homophones, using relatively well-known words. These are headwords only. They will help you in speaking individual words with correct pronunciation. No inflections (such as third person singular’s’ or noun plurals) are included. Most of these are pairs. In a few cases, a third homophone is also possible but has not been included for simplicity. Please note that different varieties and accents of English may produce variations in some of these pronunciations. The homophones listed here are based on British English.