Rarely Written English Abbreviations

A friend of mine (whose first language isn’t English) recently asked me how to contract “they are”, to which I replied “they’re”. The same person then asked how to contract “there are”, to which I replied “there’re” (I was speaking not writing at the time). I was then asked by said person to show them how to write these contractions, to which I pointed out that we hardly ever use these in written English and, if you ever do, the majority of people will probably tell you they’re (sorry — I mean: “they are”) wrong. I then wondered how many other commonly-spoken-but-rarely-ever-written contractions there’re (sorry, ahem, “there are”) in this crazy language we call English…

Here’s a little (and by no-means complete) list:

  • couldn’t’ve — could not have
  • hadn’t’ve — had not have
  • he’d’ve — he would have
  • how’ll — how will
  • I’d’ve — I would have
  • it’d’ve — it would have
  • mightn’t — might not
  • mightn’t’ve — might not have
  • might’ve — might have
  • not’ve — not have
  • she’d’ve — she would have
  • shouldn’t’ve — should not have
  • there’d’ve — there would have
  • there’re — there are
  • they’d’ve — they would have
  • we’d’ve — we would have
  • what’re — what are
  • what’ve — what have
  • where’ve — where have
  • who’ve — who have
  • why’re — why are
  • wouldn’t’ve — would not have
  • y’all’d’ve — you all should have / you all could have / you all would have
  • you’d’ve — you would have

For a somewhat more complete list of both commonly- and rarely-used English contractions, check out this page on Wikipedia!