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Words and phrases Contractions

Contractions are words that combine two or more other words in a shortened form, usually with an apostrophe. For example, the contracted form of "do not" is "don't".

Avoid negative contractions like "can’t" and "don’t". Many users find them harder to read, or misread them as the opposite of what they say. Use "cannot", instead of "can’t".

Avoid "should’ve", "could’ve", "would’ve", and "they’ve" too. These can also be hard to read.

“We do not use this method on all surveys” not “We don’t use this method on all surveys”
“It is clear that no change has occurred” not “It’s clear that no change has occurred”

View our words not to use and words to watch