Bain’t = be not

Please read the passage taken from “A Few Crusted Characters” by Thomas Hardy: According to Wiktionary, “bain’t” is the contracted form of “be not” and it is a British dialect. Therefore, the question is “Aren’t we full already?”. In what part of Britain are we likely to hear “bain’t”? By the way, I can’t help … Read more

Should contractions like “’til” be capitalized in a title?

Should contractions like “’til” be capitalized in a title, when in the middle of a title? What if the “’til” is the first or last word? An example of this is the album “Dog Party – ‘Til You’re Mine” (Spotify capitalization; the album cover has it stylized in lowercase). Answer There is no contraction "’til." … Read more

British English plural verb for group noun in a contraction

I’m curious about the use of the famous British plural verb form with a group noun¹ in a contraction. The general custom for the plural is discussed here and here but those don’t call out contractions. England football fans are currently singing the following to the tune of September by Earth, Wind, and Fire: Woah, … Read more

What does “I’za” mean?

I saw this uncommon contraction a couple of days ago. The sentence read something like I’za stupid farmer boy, but know a thing or two about computers. What does the contraction really mean? Is it short for something like “I iz”, so that it would seem that the speaker is uneducated? I tried searching online … Read more

Is “whom’s” a valid contraction?

Who’s is valid, as in Who’s going? (Who is going?) So surely whom’s should be valid, as in Whom’s he invited? (Whom has he invited?) Answer There is no official list of valid contractions for the English language. We might be able to logically deduce that whom’s is “invalid” if there were some general syntactic … Read more

Origin of the irregular contraction of “not”

All the contractions seem to follow some sort of logic: they place the mark between the words, and leave only the part of the sound that is predominantly heard (“I will” -> “I’ll”, “you have” -> “you’ve”). But with “not”, the mark is placed right in the middle of the word (like in “does not”-> … Read more

“Its” or “it’s” in “Getting Over It’s IMPOSSIBLE PHYSICS!”

While browsing through YouTube, I came across a video titled “Getting Over It’s IMPOSSIBLE PHYSICS!” which references to a new game titled “Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy”. My question is, is the use of the apostrophe in the video title correct? Should it be “Its” or “It’s” and why? Answer Your question has been … Read more

Why do many authors, when narrating a dialogue taking place in another language, use no contractions in English?

I have been reading a book lately in which the entire family speaks Vietnamese, but in order for the reader to understand, the dialogue is in English. However, it is written formally, with no contractions as I am writing to you right now. My question is, why? Answer This is because every contraction is different … Read more

When do you use “what’d you say” and when do you use “what d’you say”?

In informal writing you can say: “What’d you say” or “what d’you say?” When do you choose the former or the latter? Which one is more common? Answer They might be pronounced differently. “What’d you say” might be pronounced with four syllables, as something like [wəɾədʒjəseɪ]. Compare the pronunciation of “isn’t” which often has two … Read more