This is a question from Vivien Hammel, an English4Today member:

‘What is the proper term for words which are joined by an apostrophe? This is something that bothers me. Yet one sees so much more (in business) than I recall at a school.
For example: you’ll
Thank you for your time and consideration of my question.’


Vivien, the proper term for this is a ‘contraction‘. We use it more and more, as you have noticed, in written English and use it all the time in spoken English.

Some common contractions are:

  • I’m for I am
  • You’ll / he’ll / she’ll for you will, he will, she will
  • They’re / we’re / for they are / we are
  • Don’t for do not
  • Won’t for will not
  • Can’t for can not
  • Aren’t for are not

Although contractions such as would’ve for would have and should’ve for should have are common in spoken English they still don’t enter into written English very often but with our ‘need for speed’ it probably won’t be long before they do!


Leave a Reply

Close Menu


Learn English online with English4Today

English4Today STANDARD MEMBERSHIP is free and unlocks heaps of great English learning content for you!


Sample Standard Test Certificate


Sample Standard Certificate 1


 The certificate:

Can be downloaded and printed as a PDF file

Your percentage for the test can be checked against the level at

Level Test Registration 2

Please register or login for the STANDARD TEST plus CERTIFICATE. Your first and family names are used to complete the certificate information. Your email address is required to validate your registration and to send you the full test results.

Show privacy policy