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Can I Use Contractions in My Writing?

If you're wondering about how grammatically correct contractions are, Brian A. Klems has the answer.

Q: I know that grammatically we shouldn’t use contractions at all unless it’s in speech, but I see that many nonfiction bestselling authors use them. What are the current guidelines for their use?—Henry

(12 Most Popular Grammar Questions and Answers on WritersDigest.com)

A: Contractions aren’t wrong—they’re just less formal than the expanded forms. Using them depends on your audience. They’re far more acceptable today than they were when your grandpa was just a dad, and there’s nothing wrong with contractions in the right context. And sometimes there can be a good deal wrong without them. As you can probably see, Writer’s Digest uses them quite frequently. Our style is to employ conjunctions when they flow naturally and make the sentence smoother.

Can I Use Contractions in My Writing?

If you’re writing a college term paper or a professional study, however, you should probably avoid them. As for novels, short stories, and other forms of writing where your own style is required, it’s up to you whether you can, cannot, or can’t use them.

Grammar and Mechanics

Do you remember the difference between the 8 parts of speech and how to use them? Are you comfortable with punctuation and mechanics? No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

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