How To Pronounce Negative Contractions In English Ep 614

A photo of a student revising. In this English lesson, you'll learn the basics of pronouncing negative contractions in the English language.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 2266 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 12 min

📥 Download 11.7 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript

Listening To Native English Speakers Help Improve Your English Pronunciation

Are you struggling to learn negative contractions in English? Let us help you! Today’s English lesson is the perfect introduction to mastering these important parts of the language. We provide clear and concise advice, covering why it is important to listen to native English speakers, and how to use research and expert opinion to build your own understanding of English.

We have hundreds of lessons that offer helpful strategies to overcome potential challenges and obstacles in increasing spoken English fluency. Don’t wait any longer! Subscribe to our podcast channel today and start learning how to pronounce negative contractions in English. Join us on this journey and discover your true language learning potential.

More About This Lesson

Negative contractions are an essential part of the English language, yet many language learners may find them difficult to pronounce correctly. This podcast provides the perfect introduction for learners to master the pronunciation and usage of negative contractions like ISN’T, AREN’T, WON’T, HAVEN’T, and SHOULDN’T. It covers why it is important to listen to native English speakers, as well as how to use research and expert opinions to build your own understanding of English.

✔Lesson transcript:

We explain the challenges and obstacles that learners may face when trying to learn English, and offer strategies to overcome them. Our podcast follows a clear and concise style that is accessible to all levels of language learners, and includes relevant statistics, examples and case studies to bring the advice to life.

In short, our podcast provides the perfect introduction to language learners to learn how to pronounce negative contractions in English. We explain why listening is the primary method of improving English comprehension and vocabulary, and provide strategies to help overcome the challenges. We invite you to join us on this journey and subscribe to our podcast channel to get the most out of your language learning experience.Hi there. Today let’s talk about something which affects your health and my health, and particularly so if you live in a northern climate like the UK.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Revision: Changing something to make it better.
  • Contractions: Short forms of words that combine two words, like "can't" for "cannot."
  • Negative: Saying "no" or showing something is bad or wrong.
  • Essential: Very important and needed.

Most common 2 word phrases:

Spoken English6
Negative Contractions4
We Say3
English Grammar2

Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: How To Pronounce Negative Contractions In English

Today let’s practise some English grammar. And this is something that you’ll use all the time in spoken English. So it’s important that it’s right. I’ll do a lesson first of all. And for many of you, this will be ‘revision’ - that’s REVISION and it means ‘learning again’, the sort of thing you do before an exam. And to keep you ‘on your toes’, I’ve designed a quiz that will really test you out on this part of English grammar. If you think this is easy - wait and see how you find the quiz! Today’s English lesson is on negative contractions. Let’s make the lesson quick and then you can test how well you really know these at the end of this podcast!

Don’t forget - if you’ve realised how important listening to quality spoken English is, if you want to become fluent in English - then you can buy massive bundles of Adept English podcasts for a very small price and download them to your mobile phone. This will make sure that whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, even without internet, you can still be working on your English language. Visit today - and look at ‘Podcast Bundles’ on our Courses page.

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Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

So - negative contractions. What are they? Let’s do a little recap first of all. This is the stuff that you learn at the start of your English lessons. Bear with me if this is easy - it’ll get more difficult when I test you! Let’s do a little recap on some basic English. If you find this difficult - then this is a really good lesson for you. We use these all the time, these ‘negative contractions’. And you’ll feel much more comfortable if you know them so well that they’re automatic for you!

I’m going to cover ‘negative contractions with the verb ‘to be’ and the verb ‘to have’’ today. So what do they sound like?

Listening Lessons

Verb ‘to be’

We say ‘I am’ and with a negative ‘I am not’. But in spoken English this is usually contracted - so we actually say ‘I’m not’. I’M NOT.

We say ‘you are’ and if it’s a negative ‘you are not’. And if it’s contracted as it usually is in spoken English, ‘you ‘aren’t’, so that’s AREN’T. And ‘are’ and ‘aren’t - well they also work for other pronouns - we aren’t, they aren’t.

And what about ‘he is’ or ‘she is’ or ‘it is’? Well, you’ll probably know the negative here. ‘He is not’ is shortened, is contracted in spoken English to ‘he isn’t’, ISN’T. And it’s the same for ‘she isn’t’ and ‘it isn’t’.

Verb ‘to be’ - past tense

We say ‘I was’ and with a negative ‘I was not’ and this becomes ‘I wasn’t’ in spoken English. That’s WASN’T. This also works for he, she and it - ‘It wasn’t fair - he wasn’t there’, for example.

And ‘You were’ becomes ‘You were not’ in the negative - and if it’s spoken and contracted, then it’s ‘you weren’t’, which is WEREN’T, ‘weren’t’. And ‘weren’t’ also works for we and they - ‘we weren’t’, ‘they weren’t.

Verb ‘to be’ - future tense

This one is really simple and essential learning. We say ‘I will’, and with a negative ‘I will not’. And in spoken English this contracts to ‘I won’t’, WON’T. And this form ‘won’t’ works with all the pronouns - I won’t, we won’t, you won’t, he won’t, they won’t. Nice and simple this one! But there is another form of this contraction - you can say ‘I’ll not’ or ‘We’ll not’ also. And of course, this is important because ‘I will’, ‘we will’ - it forms the future tense for all verbs and it’s used to show intention. ‘We will fly to the moon’ contracted becomes ‘We’ll fly to the moon’. So we use this all the time! And so the negative has these two forms - ‘We’ll not fly to the moon’ or ‘We won’t fly to the moon’. The second one shows a stronger intention! ‘We won’t!’. And ‘We will not’ sounds a little more polite. ‘I won’t’ is probably more like what your toddler will say to you - but it’s perfectly correct English!

A number of the ‘negative contractions’ that I’m covering today can take this form, but I’m going to stick with the main negative contractions, otherwise it’ll get too complicated.

Let’s cover the same for the verb ‘to have’ now. See if you can say them before I do this time.

Verb ‘to have’ - present tense

We say ‘I have’ and this works also for ‘we have’, ‘you have’, ‘they have’. The negative would be ‘I have not’ if you’re writing - but in spoken English again, it contracts. ‘I haven’t got a dog’, so that’s HAVEN’T, ‘haven’t’.

And of course here, the he/she/it form is different. We say ‘he has’ and the negative would be ‘he has not’ in written English - obviously the same for ‘she’ and ‘it’. But in spoken English we’d say ‘he hasn’t’ - that’s HASN’T. ‘He hasn’t got a new bed yet’.

Verb ‘to have’ - past tense

And of course you’ll know that if we want to use the perfect tense in English then we use the verb ‘to have’ there too. ‘I haven’t seen him’. ‘He hasn’t done the washing up’.

But if you want to push the tense further into the past, you would use ‘I had seen him before the storm.’ This is the past perfect tense. And negative and written? ‘I had not seen him before the storm’. And then this contracted for spoken English? ‘I hadn’t seen him before the storm’. So that’s HADN’T.


OK, so let’s stop there on the lesson and do the quiz. I’m going to give you some sentences and you have to work out which negative contraction word fits. So your choices are

aren’t isn’t wasn’t weren’t won’t haven’t hasn’t hadn’t

So those are your choices for the answers. See if you can put the right ones into these sentences. Choose the correct negative contraction that fits with the rest of the sentence. I’ll give you an example first. ‘He….. go to the match the tomorrow’. So is it aren’t, isn’t, wasn’t, weren’t or won’t here? The answer ‘He won’t go to the match tomorrow.’ WON’T.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

OK let’s do the quiz - I’ll say them slowly to give you chance to think about it.

  1. He…….in work last Tuesday.
  2. They…...seen the damage to their car yet, but they’re going later today.
  3. We…….people who watch a lot of TV.
  4. My great grandparents…….born before 1900.
  5. I… travelling until May this year.
  6. It…..raining right now.
  7. She…….answered her phone at all today - I’m worried.
  8. She…….been to the theatre before - it was her first trip last year.


A lady looking at her phone in a train station. In this lesson, you'll learn why it's important and how to pronounce negative contractions correctly.

©️ Adept English 2023

OK. That’s the end of the quiz. How did you do? If you’re not ready to hear the answers yet, go back now. Otherwise, here are the answers.

  1. ‘He was not in work last Tuesday’ becomes ‘he wasn’t in work last Tuesday’.
  2. ‘They have not seen the damage to their car yet, but they’re going later today’ becomes ‘they haven’t seen the damage to their car yet, but they’re going later today.
  3. ‘We are not people who watch a lot of TV’ becomes ‘we aren’t people who watch a lot of TV’.
  4. ‘My great grandparents were not born before 1900’. That becomes ‘my great grandparents weren’t born before 1900’.
  5. ‘I will not be travelling until May this year’. That becomes ‘I won’t be travelling until May this year’.
  6. ‘It is not raining right now’ becomes ‘it isn’t raining right now’.
  7. ‘She has not answered her phone at all today - I’m worried’ becomes ‘she hasn’t answered her phone at all today - I’m worried’.
  8. ‘She had not been to the theatre before - it was her first trip last year’. Contracted that becomes ‘She hadn’t been to the theatre before - it was her first trip last year’.

OK? Was that easy for you? It if was - great, you’re doing well! If it was a bit more difficult, then listen to this podcast a number of times and it will become clearer for you. This is important practice - it’s in our language all the time. So many sentences have these contractions in them.


Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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