The use of contractions in writing

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Eishun, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    I tend not to use contractions in my writings.

    For example, I prefer to write "He will" and "He has" instead of "He'll" and "He's".

    And when I do use contractions, I only use them when I write dialogues. For example, a lot of people tend to say "Letz" instead of "Let us," so I use "Let's" if I think that is how a character would pronounce that word.

    I understand that it is a literary norm to use contractions, but is it WRONG if I don't want to?
     
  2. yakuzapandaz

    yakuzapandaz Well-Known Member

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    There are nothing wrong with not wanting to use it
     
  3. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    It can end up wrong, not literately but situationally. Speaking without contractions is seen as 'very formal', which might not suit a character's profile. For example, no one expects a gutter rat to speak formally without contractions, or between close friends who are more relaxed in speech, so yes, sometimes it can be wrong situationally.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
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  4. Owl1412

    Owl1412 Well-Known Member

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    For academic essays, I try to avoid contractions unless I absolutely HAVE to add in to make it flow more smoothly. For character dialogue, contractions are necessary because most people don’t say, “I am coming to the party tonight”, they’ll say “I’m coming to the party tonight!”
    Contractions make sentences sound less formal
     
  5. Siceraria

    Siceraria Well-Known Member

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    You're fine whether you use contractions or not.
    As long as I don't hear a 3 year old speaking as if they are fresh out of university with an English degree, we're fine..... unless it is an isekai or reincarnation story or a literal spawn of Cthulhu.
     
  6. Galooza

    Galooza The One True Walapalooza

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    It's not wrong, it's more about natural sounding English. But, there are also times when contractions can read worse than the written words themselves. It depends on the sentence.
     
  7. aintg

    aintg Fairy Queen of the Demonic Sect

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with not using contractions, especially when it's a third person point of view narration, or if the character in a first person point of view has a habit of being formal when speaking.

    For dialogues, just like what the others have said, it depends on the characters in question. I think it's important to know the speaking style of your characters to make them more authentic and reliable.
     
  8. lilwriterb

    lilwriterb Member

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    It depends, sometimes contractions make the flow of the story better and sometimes they make it worse.
    I would suggest doing this:
    1) if you want to sound more formal (e.g. while writing historical or academic pieces) try to use less contractions.
    2) look at the character. if the character's personality is carefree, i feel like they would use more contractions. (like saying "y'all" or "let's").
    3) this is personal preference, but i feel that some contractions flow better than others. i like to use ones like "it's", "let's", and "I'm" but not ones like "I'd", "he'd", or "they'd"
    It's all up to the writer though. I would say, just have fun and choose whatever you thing flows/sounds better.
     
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  9. Bad Storm

    Bad Storm »You don't even care, you're so unaware«

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    I'm so used to contractions that I feel uncomfortable when I need to write formally and is forced to use the longee versions.
     
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  10. lilwriterb

    lilwriterb Member

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    It's the opposite for me. Use of too many contractions makes me uncomfortable. T-T
     
  11. Seaway

    Seaway Going on a Cultivating Field Trip

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    It's not wrong. Aside from it and it's which are two different things. Most cases, our Prof will even tell us to limit using contractions to make it more formal or better writing to whatever standards they have I guess. So you don't have to overuse contractions if you don't want to. Plus, helps that nice word count.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
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