Being aware of words that use contracted or short forms will help you in listening tests.

  • We use a lot of contractions in spoken English. Listen carefully for contractions, e.g. 'd, 's, 'll, 've, etc.
  • It's amazing how much one sound can change the meaning of something. For example, compare 'I'll go' (the speaker will go) and 'I'd go' (the speaker is advising someone else to go).
  • Usually the context helps you work out which contraction is appropriate. For example, when talking about hopes and dreams, the contraction 'd (would) is common.
  • Check the question carefully for contractions.
  • Ask your teacher for extra practice to listen and compare sentences with and without contractions.

Tell us which contractions are difficult for you to hear clearly.  Can you hear the difference between I'll and I'd or his and he's?  Which contractions confuse you?

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