TO BE contractions – Present, Past, and Future (Audio +PDF)

TO BE English contractions – present tense

Contractions TO BE (Present, Past, Future)
I’m studying English.”

Learn about the contractions of the English verb TO BE with audio and a free PDF download.

To BE Contractions – Present tense

  • I am – I’m
    • I’m tired.”
  • He is – He’s
    • He’s tired today, he worked late last night.”
  • She is – She’s
    • She’s playing the piano.”
  • It is – It’s
    • It’s my favorite song.”
  • You are – You’re
    • You’re going to Italy! That’s great!”
  • We are – We’re
    • “My team won! We’re the league champions!”
  • They are – They’re
    • “Jack and Wendy called, they’re going to meet us at 7:30.”

What is a contraction? (Contraction Grammar)

contraction – the process of becoming smaller.

In English, a contraction is when two or more words combine to make one shorter word. The shorter word has fewer letters and often uses an apostrophe. (‘)
Source – Grammarly Contractions

According to

negative contractions (are) commonly used in speech and in informal writing 


In this post, you will learn the correct pronunciation for contractions of the verb TO BE with audio and video. Learn all about the contractions of the English verb TO BE with audio and a free PDF download.

TO BE Contractions Pronunciation NOTE

For the contractions, He’s/She’s/It’s – the ‘s has a Z sound.

  • He’s – Heez
  • She’s – Sheez
  • It’s – Itz 

Watch this short VIDEO and listen to Present tense contractions

More natural examples – Present tense

My son will graduate from college next year. I’m very proud of him!

It’s getting late, I’m going to bed now.

I like birds, but not the birds who sit in the tree beside my window and chirp early in the morning. They’re too noisy!
*Chirp is a noun that means the sound that a bird makes.

A: My wife and I are going to a concert on Saturday. We’re really excited.
B: Lucky! You’re gonna have a great time. (GONNA is a common contraction of GOING TO.)

To BE contractions – Present Tense Negative

  • I am not – I’m not
    • I’m not going to the party.
  • He is not – He isn’t > He’s not
    • Jerry has plans already, he’s not coming this weekend.
  • She is not – She isn’t > She’s not
    • Tiffany’s not coming to work today, she’s sick.
  • It is not – It isn’t > It’s not
    • Don’t worry Spencer, it isn’t your fault.
  • You are not – You aren’t > You’re not
    • If you’re feeling stressed out now, you’re not alone.
  • We are not – We aren’t > We’re not
    • We need to leave now or we’re not going to make the movie.
  • They are not – They aren’t > They’re not
    • The accounting team just looked at our company sales report for last month. They aren’t happy.
Present Tense Negative

Natural examples – Present tense Negative

I’m not going to the party tonight, I have to work overtime.

*Common mistake – In natural English, we don’t say “do overwork” or “I have to overwork.” If you stay later than usual at your job we say “work overtime.”

A: How about Jim? Is he coming to the party?
B: Maybe. He’s not sure what time he will finish work.
A: I hope he can make it. Ian isn’t coming either, I just called him. I’m afraid that the party will be very small.

Cathy’s not coming to the party because her car is in the shop.  She isn’t going to join us. 

*In this sentence “shop” means the repair shop. If your car is in the shop it’s being repaired.

*We can separate the negative contraction TO BE/NOT with the adverb also.

Cathy’s also not coming to the party.” 

This has the same meaning as “…IS NOT COMING EITHER.” but notice the grammar difference.
Either is usually used at the end of a clause. (A clause is like a unit or part of a longer sentence.) “…IS NOT COMING EITHER.”

TO BE also NOT… will be followed by an action or adjective. “IS also NOT coming.”

To BE negative contractions – questions

We can use negative contractions as questions.

I’m not on the meeting agenda, am I?

*On the meeting agenda means that I have a responsibility at the meeting. I need to present or talk about something during the meeting. I’m on the meeting schedule.

Alice isn’t coming to the party, is she? If I knew I would have dressed nicer!

A: Hi and welcome to the party!
B: Thanks! We’re not too late are we?

Which contraction should I use? He isn’t or He’s not?

I notice that I use the contracted subject with NOT (he’s not) most often when I’m speaking.  

For me, He’s not is more common than He isn’t, but both are fine (of course!) 

If you use the words without a contraction it sounds more formal. He is not.

  • Mark’s not coming to the party.
  • Mark isn’t coming to the party.
  • Mark is not coming to the party. – No contractions (This sounds more formal)

Past tense negative

The past tense of the verb TO BE has no contraction for the affirmative

I/He/She was
You/We/They were

The negative contractions look like this:

  • Was not – wasn’t
    • I’m not sure what happened at the party, unfortunately, I wasn’t there. 
  • Were not – weren’t
    • Jim and I both had to work late so we weren’t there either. 

Past tense negative questions

A: Dale wasn’t at the meeting this morning, was he?
B: You don’t know? You weren’t at the meeting either?

A: Jason was telling everyone about the time he met Arnold Schwarzenegger at the shopping mall.
B: He’s not telling that old story again, is he? I’ve listened to that story 50 times already!

Past tense negative + Questions

TO BE contractions – Future tense

  • I will – I’ll
    • I’ll see you later tonight at the party. 
  • he/she/it will – he’ll she’ll it’ll
    • I spoke with Nancy this afternoon she said she’ll be there. 
    • We better get home, it’ll be dark soon.
  • You will – you’ll
    • You’ll feel better in a few days, I’m sure.
  • They will – they’ll
    • I’ll let Amanda and Marsha know that Nancy is coming to the party. They’ll be happy to hear that. 
  • We will – we’ll
    • Roger and I have to make a quick stop after work so we’ll be a few minutes late for the party.

Future tense negative contractions

  • I will not – I won’t – I’ll not
    • I won’t be able to get to the party until after 8:00.
  • he/she/it will not – he won’t > he’ll not/ she won’t .she’ll not/ it won’t >it’ll not 
    • Veronica said she won’t get there until about 7:30. 
  • They will not – they won’t > they’ll not
    • I just spoke to the repair shop when my car is getting fixed, they won’t be able to have my car ready until next week. 
  • We will not – we won’t > we’ll not
    • We won’t know anything until the report comes back from the hospital.

The example sentence above all used the contraction won’t. I personally use I won’t in conversation, I rarely say I‘ll not

Kevin won’t be coming is much more natural than Kevin’ll not be coming for me.

I think the real difference between I won’t and I’ll not is more personal preference. To me ‘I’ll not‘ sounds a bit more formal. 

Saying ‘I’ll not‘ does give us a chance to emphasize the word not if you want to strongly state that you won’t be doing something again. This is common after a bad experience. 

The food wasn’t very good even though the restaurant is quite expensive. We’ll not be going back there again. (Emphasis on the word NOT)

Using the more formal We will not also gives us the same opportunity.

We will not be going back there again.

Future tense negative questions

The contraction won’t is often used to start a question. This is a polite way to suggest something.

Won’t you stay for dinner? 

It can also be used to confirm that something you thought would happen will not happen.

A: I got a job teaching at a summer school for university students.
B: Won’t you be visiting your family in Canada this August?
A: I’ll be working so, unfortunately, I won’t be able to go.

Future tense contractions

Would contractions

Would – used as the past form of will when reporting what somebody has said or thought

  • The boss asked if I would run the new department.

Would can become the contraction ‘d

  • The boss asked if Id run the new department.

The negative of would is would not. This becomes the contraction wouldn’t.

  • I said I wouldn’t be able to go to the party unless someone gave me a ride.

I’d not be able to go is possible, but rare for me.

Would contractions

TO BE contarctions Conclusion

I hope this post was helpful for you and you now understand the contractions of the verb TO BE. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back to refresh the grammar and support your English pronunciation practice. Thanks to Wikipedia for help with this grammar.

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TO BE contractions PDF

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