A contraction is an abbreviated version of a word or words.
Examples of ContractionsThere are two main kinds:
1) Those formed by replacing missing letter(s) with an apostrophe. (These contractions are formed either by shortening a word or merging two words into one.) For example:
(2) Those formed by compressing a word (i.e. without apostrophes)/ For example:
Read more about full stops (periods) after contractions.
Only Use Apostrophes to Replace Letters in Standard ContractionsWhen an apostrophe replaces a letter, a new word is formed (most often, but not always, from two words originally). The new word is called a contraction.
You cannot invent your own contractions. Here is a list of common contractions in English:
Full stops (periods) with contractions
More on abbreviations
Glossary of grammatical terms
Click on the contraction:
NOT IN BUSINESS WRITING
Usually, business writing demands more formality than the use of contractions portrays. So, unless you're deliberately trying to show an informal image, don't use contractions (like can't, doesn't etc.) in business writing. Expand them to the full versions.
EXPANDING CONTRACTIONS CAN HELP AVOID GRAMMATICAL HOWLERS
If you always expand your contraction, you are less likely to make a mistake with the following: