Guide to Spelling: Hooked on Phonics: Contractions: Suck It In

Contractions: Suck It In

Creating contractions is another useful skill, right up there with knowing how to work an ATM, execute a three-point turn, and rappel down a cliff. Fortunately, it's much easier to learn how to form contractions than it is to work an ATM or do a three-point turn. I'm not even going to discuss mountain-type stuff like rappelling.

Using contractions adds a more informal tone to your writing and reproduces the spoken word more accurately in your prose.

The basic rule for forming a contraction is a snap: to combine two words, just insert an apostrophe in the space where the letter or letters have been omitted. Here are some examples.

Word #1Word #2Contraction
I+am=I'm
you+are=you're
he+is=he's
we+are=we're
Strictly Speaking

Traditionally, contractions are not used in formal writing, such as reports and letters.

Danger, Will Robinson

Here's a key exception: will + not = won't (not willn't).

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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