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Colloquial Contractions in American English, Part II

This lesson is Part II of a series. "Colloquial" means "casual" as opposed to "formal," and a "contraction" is just the shortening of words. Let's continue discussing some of the ways that words are shortened in casual speech in American English in ways that are not used in formal writing.

 

So, lemme just show you.

Caption 53, Get the Dish - DIY Hatching Chick Deviled Eggs For Easter

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Lemme recharge it, OK?

Caption 17, Hemispheres - The Amazing Cell Phone - Part 1

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"Lemme" is an informal contraction of "let me."

 

dunno, it's kind of like they don't have any…

Caption 55, Ed Sheeran - Interview with Ellen DeGeneres

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Dunno" is easy. It combines the words "don't" and "know," and it is a response word used to express confusion.

Captions 27-29, English with Annette O'Neil - Colloquial Contractions - Part 2

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The next contraction is a bit more difficult: 

 

gotcha, I gotcha, OK.

Caption 21, Plain White T's - Visit The VEVO Office

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Similarly, the colloquial contraction "gotcha" isn't a grammatical superstar. It combines the words "got" and "you," and is used to express casual assent. Where's the button just to make one espresso? Gotcha.

Captions 20-25, English with Annette O'Neil - Colloquial Contractions - Part 2

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"Gotcha" is a colloquial contraction of "to get" something, in the sense of "to understand" something. If you say "I gotcha," it's a colloquial way of saying "I get it" or "I understand you." 

 

Nine times outta ten there's no manual on these things.

Caption 12, Motorcycle Masters - Birmingham Alabama - Part 1

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Get me security, get him outta here!

Caption 45, People's Choice - Kaley Cuoco Opening

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"Outta" is an informal contraction for "out of." It's also common to hear the expression "I'm outta here!" for "I am leaving," which is what I'll leave you with for this lesson!

 

Further Learning
Watch this video on Yabla English to learn about more contractions, and search the videos on Yabla English for more examples of these colloquial contractions used in a real world context.

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