Apostrophes in Contractions (with Examples)

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Apostrophes in Contractions

An apostrophe can be used to form a contraction, which is an abbreviated version of a word or words. Here are two common contractions:
  • Isn't
  • (In this contraction, the apostrophe replaces the o of not, and the words is and not are joined to form a single word.)
  • Can't
  • (In this contraction, the apostrophe replaces the no of cannot.)

Contractions with Apostrophes Are Common in Informal Writing

Contractions with apostrophes are not common in formal writing. Contractions are generally reserved for informal writing as they are used to reflect how people speak.

Examples of Contractions with Apostrophes

Here are some more examples of contractions with apostrophes:
  • If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe. (Woody Allen)
  • Don't look now, but there's one too many in this room, and I think it's you. (Groucho Marx)
Read more about apostrophes used to replace missing letters.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

Using apostrophes Using brackets parentheses Using colons Using commas Using dashes Using hyphens Using quotation marks Using semicolons