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Pia-K Strategi och Design

Can You Start a Sentence with a Contraction

As someone who has been working in the field of copyediting for a while, I have come across a fair share of questions regarding grammar. One question that often comes up is whether or not it is acceptable to start a sentence with a contraction. This is a common question, especially among people who are new to writing or those who have not had much experience in grammar-related topics.

So, can you start a sentence with a contraction? The answer is yes, but with a caveat.

First, let us define what a contraction is. A contraction is a shortened form of two words that are joined together with an apostrophe. For instance, ”cannot” becomes ”can`t,” ”it is” becomes ”it`s,” and ”you are” becomes ”you`re.”

According to traditional grammar rules, starting a sentence with a contraction is considered incorrect. This is because contractions are informal and casual, and starting a sentence with one may not be appropriate in formal writing. However, with the rise of more conversational and casual writing styles, this ”rule” has become more relaxed.

For instance, in creative writing, starting a sentence with a contraction is more accepted. This is because creative writing is more flexible and allows for a more conversational tone. In contrast, if you are writing an academic paper or a formal business report, it may be best to avoid starting a sentence with a contraction.

Moreover, starting a sentence with a contraction can help create a more natural and conversational flow in your writing. It can make your writing sound less stilted and more approachable to the reader. However, keep in mind that overusing contractions can also make your writing sound too casual and unprofessional.

In conclusion, starting a sentence with a contraction is acceptable in certain contexts, but it is best to use it judiciously. It is always important to consider your audience and the purpose of your writing before deciding whether or not to use contractions. As with any grammar rule, it is more important to focus on the clarity and effectiveness of your writing, rather than rigid adherence to strict grammar rules.