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Session 4

We learn how to sound more natural and fluent in English with this pronunciation tip. Join us for a new video series, Stop saying.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

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    Activity 1
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    Activity 2

Activity 1

Stop saying...!

Double contractions

Welcome to Stop saying... This is our new series which helps you stop making English mistakes. Each week we hear a problem from a learner of English and our teacher helps them out.

Today we meet a Brazilian student called Mariely who's studying in London at Rose of York Language School. She's having problems with an aspect of pronunciation called double contractions.

But what are double contractions? Helen from BBC Learning English is here with tips for you!

Watch the video and then do some practice activities.

Watch the video and complete the activity


So a double contraction is when we make three words into something shorter in spoken English. I would have becomes I'd've and could not have becomes couldn't've. They're quite common in spoken English but not used very often in written English. They might be used for informal communication, but Helen recommends you don't use them for a job application!


Now you've watched the video, it's time to test yourself with this a quiz!

Session Grammar

  • Double contractions

    I would have -> I'd've

    could not have -> couldn't've

    might not have -> mightn't've

    must not have -> mustn't've

    cannot have -> can't've

    you would have -> you'd've

    he would have -> he'd've

    she would have -> she'd've

    we would have -> we'd've

    they would have -> they'd've