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Contractions occur when two words are combined into one. In English, contractions like "I’m" and "won’t" are optional and indicate informality. In Spanish, however, contractions are required, regardless of the register you’re speaking or writing in.
There are essentially 3 types of Spanish contractions.
1. A and de plus definite article
The prepositions a and de contract with the masculine singular definite article el. They do not contract with the feminine la or the plurals los and las.
|a + el||al|
|a + la, a + los, a + las||a la, a los, a las|
|de + el||del|
|de + la, de + los, de + las||de la, de los, de las|
2. Con plus prepositional pronoun
The preposition con contracts with the prepositional pronouns mí, ti, and sí, and the suffix –go is added to each one.
|con + mí||conmigo|
|con + ti||contigo|
|con + sí||consigo|
3. Verbs plus object pronouns
When object pronouns follow certain verb forms, they all contract into a single word, and accents may need to be added to maintain proper word stress.
|ver + lo||verlo|
|mostrar + me + la||mostrármela|
|ayuda + me||ayúdame|
|vaya + se||váyase|
|haciendo + lo||haciéndolo|
|hablando + te||hablándote|
Learn more: Object pronoun placement
Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on Spanish contractions with these fill-in-the-blanks exercises:
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