Informal contractions are shortened forms of words and phrases in English sometimes used in casual conversations. They are like slang – a very informal way of speaking.

They are generally used only in spoken English but can also be found in some informal writing like text messages, emails, and social media. We spell the contractions the way they sound and different spellings can be found.

Listed below are some common informal contractions with an example of use. It must be remembered that these contractions are not correct ” English.  The list is merely an attempt to help learners understand what they may hear in very informal conversations or in the lyrics of popular songs.


SoundContraction ofExample
COULDACould haveYou coulda taken the bus.
DUNNODon’t knowWhere’s John? I dunno.
GIMMEGive meCould you gimme a hand with this?
GONNAGoing toWe’re all gonna go to the beach.
GOTTAGot toI’ve gotta leave early today. 
HAFTAHave toI hafta pick up the kids from school. 
LEMMELet meHere, lemme help you with that.
LOTTALot ofThere’s still a lotta work to be done.
KINDAKind ofIt’s kinda chilly outside today.
SHOULDAShould haveYou shoulda warned me about the dog.
WANNAWant toDo you wanna see the photographs?
WHA-DI-YAWhat do youWha-di-ya think of this?
WHATCHAWhat are youWha-tcha gonna do now?
WOULDAWould haveI woulda come earlier if I’d known.