Contractions with “not” Song: A Guide to Proper Usage

As a writer or copy editor, you may often come across contractions with “not” in your work. While contractions are a common and accepted part of spoken English, their usage can be a bit tricky when it comes to formal writing.

One particular area where writers tend to stumble is contractions with “not.” In fact, there`s even a popular children`s song that teaches the correct usage of these contractions. The song goes:

“Isn`t, aren`t, wasn`t, weren`t,

Haven`t, hasn`t, hadn`t, wouldn`t, shouldn`t, couldn`t, can`t,

Gonna, gotta, wanna, shouldn`t have and don`t.”

But when you use them with “not,”

Just a little change, that`s what you`ve got:

Isn`t becomes isn`t, aren`t becomes aren`t,

Wasn`t becomes wasn`t, weren`t becomes weren`t,

Haven`t becomes haven`t, and hasn`t becomes hasn`t,

Hadn`t becomes hadn`t, and wouldn`t becomes wouldn`t,

Shouldn`t becomes shouldn`t, and couldn`t becomes couldn`t,

Can`t becomes can`t, won`t becomes won`t.”

This catchy tune is a great way to remember the proper usage of contractions with “not.” So, let`s break it down a bit further.

Contractions with “Not” in Present Tense

When using contractions with “not” in the present tense, you simply add the apostrophe and “t” to the end of the verb. Here are some examples:

– Isn`t (is not)

– Aren`t (are not)

– Haven`t (have not)

– Hasn`t (has not)

– Don`t (do not)

– Doesn`t (does not)

Contractions with “Not” in Past Tense

When using contractions with “not” in the past tense, you simply add an apostrophe between the verb and “t” to form the contraction. Here are some examples:

– Wasn`t (was not)

– Weren`t (were not)

– Hadn`t (had not)

Contractions with “Not” in Conditional and Modal Verbs

When using contractions with “not” in conditional and modal verbs, you contract the auxiliary verb and “not” to form the contraction. Here are some examples:

– Wouldn`t (would not)

– Shouldn`t (should not)

– Couldn`t (could not)

– Can`t (cannot)

– Won`t (will not)

– Gonna (going to)

– Gotta (got to)

– Wanna (want to)

It`s important to note that while contractions with “not” are acceptable in informal writing and speech, they should generally be avoided in formal writing. Instead, use the full forms of the words in your writing to maintain a more professional tone.

In conclusion, the use of contractions with “not” can be a bit confusing, but with the help of the “Contractions with Not” song or some practice, you`ll be able to use them with confidence in your writing. Remember to use them with care and only when appropriate, and your writing will be all the better for it.

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Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him.