Using apostrophes to combine words

Home learning focus

To understand how and when to use apostrophes to combine two words.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos to help you understand how and when to use apostrophes to combine words

  • four activities


Sometimes we contract words to make them easier to say or write. This means that we combine them together and make them smaller.

For example: She will = she'll

We use an apostrophe for contraction to show when we have done this.

Watch this short clip to learn how and when to use apostrophes for contraction.

Learn about apostrophes for contraction.

You can use apostrophes to show that you have omitted (left out) some letters when you are joining words together.

For example: You + are = you're

The apostrophe takes the place of the letters that have been removed. In the example above, that’s the letter a from 'are'.

Sometimes you need to rearrange the letters a bit when you join them together.

For example: Will + not = won't

Joining words together like this makes your writing easier to read and more friendly.

Watch this video to revise apostrophes for contraction.

Focus on the words that are highlighted in green.

Revise how to use apostrophes.


You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Check how well you understood the videos by completing this short activity.

You need to highlight the word that could be contracted.

Activity 2

Write out the contracted (shortened) form of the words in this list.

Have not =

Should not =

I will =

Could not =

It is =

Will not =

Make sure to use an apostrophe to show where you've omitted (left out) letters.

For example: Cannot = Can't

Top tip!

Remember, sometimes you will have to change the order of the letters.

Activity 3

Copy out the sentences below then use a coloured pencil to add in the missing apostrophes.

  1. I dont like carrots.

  2. I wish you wouldnt snore so loudly.

  3. Isnt that song lovely?

  4. Ill put the toys away after dinner.

  5. Liam wont brush his teeth.

  6. Tara hasnt got a bike.

Activity 4

Have a go at completing this Apostrophes and Combining Words game from Night Zookeeper.

Can you get all four right?

Apostrophes and Combining Words game

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about using apostrophes in contractions.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize.

Click on the links below to keep learning.

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