When it comes to writing in English, one of the most common debates is whether or not to use contractions. Contractions are abbreviated versions of words that are created by combining two words and omitting one or more letters, such as “can`t” instead of “cannot” or “it`s” instead of “it is”. Some people believe that contractions are informal and should be avoided in formal writing, while others believe that they add a more natural and conversational tone to writing. So, when should you use contractions in English?
The answer is not black and white, as it largely depends on the context and audience of your writing. In general, contractions are more commonly used in spoken English than in written English, where a more formal tone is often preferred. Therefore, in formal writing such as academic papers, business documents, or professional emails, it is advisable to avoid contractions. When you`re writing for an audience that expects a more professional tone, using contractions may appear unprofessional and can be distracting.
On the other hand, in informal writing such as personal emails, blogs, and social media posts, using contractions is perfectly acceptable and can make your writing appear more friendly and approachable. Contractions are often used as a way to mimic conversational speech and to create a more casual, relaxed tone.
Additionally, it`s important to consider the context and purpose of your writing. For example, if you`re writing an instructional guide or a manual, you may want to avoid using contractions altogether, as they can be confusing or misleading. Similarly, if you`re writing a news article, journalistic writing typically avoids contractions to maintain an objective and formal tone.
In conclusion, contractions can be a useful tool when used appropriately. They add a natural tone to your writing and create a more casual, friendly atmosphere in informal contexts. However, if you`re writing for a formal audience, or in a professional context, it is wise to avoid them. As a copy editor, it`s essential to understand the context and audience of the writing you`re editing, and to make sure that the use of contractions is appropriate and consistent with the overall tone and style.