Author Topic: Avoid contractions  (Read 2035 times)


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Avoid contractions
« on: January 25, 2014, 08:54:33 AM »
Avoiding contractions in formal writing is a typical requirement. Contraction is a shortened form of a word from which one or more letters have been omitted. The apostrophe is used in writing contractions. In standard English, this generally happens only with a small number of conventional items. While largely acceptable in speech, contractions are too informal and should not be used in academic writing.

Examples of common contractions: “I’d”, “she'd've”, “can’t”, “shouldn’t”.

There are few exceptions, like “o’clock”. Such contractions are allowed as they have traditionally assumed the form of a full word.

Contractions should not be confused with abbreviations. Such shortened forms as Mr., Mrs., bc., e.g. are allowed in formal writing.

Finally, contractions in foreign words and names are also allowed: D'Angelo, McTavish.  Such word forms are not considered as contractions because there is no alternative way of writing them.
There are other contractions which are often heard in speech, like: - 'Fraid so. - 'Nother drink? - I s'pose so. - 'S not funny. It is, of course, never appropriate to use such colloquial forms in formal writing, except when you are explicitly writing about colloquial English, or cite the original colloquial text.