TIPSY Today™ Blog with Rogena & Colleen | A Footprint of RMJ Editing & Manuscript Service, Colleen Snibson Editing, and Two Red Pens Editing
TIPSY TODAY with Rogena
Let's talk about contractions—the grammatical kind, not child birth.
Contractions — is, has, was, did... shoulda, woulda, coulda...
Oh, wait. I mean, would, could, should.
Then there are the words are and were, too. ;)
it is = it's
it has = it's
it was = it was
she is, she has = she's
she was = she was
In your writing, this makes a difference in past and present tense.
If you are writing in PAST tense, it wouldn't be *she is*—it would be *she was*. This means you can't use *she's* for your past tense sentence if you mean to say *she was*.
I had or I would = I'd
I'd is not used for I did, I could, I should, etc.
So, ultimately, 's (apostrophe s) means either is or has while 'd (apostrophe d) means did or would.
Contractions are good, especially when making the voice of your character sound natural. However, you need to use them correctly. Some writers have issues with contractions when they write in different tenses—past tense vs present tense.
Additionally, the contraction *they're* is *they are* (present tense) and not *they were* (past tense) — contractions are good, but need to be used correctly within the tense you are writing.
"So if you find yourself using a contraction with an apostrophe plus a 'd,' consider spelling it out instead. Although your sentence might be perfectly clear to you, it might not be so clear to someone reading it for the first time. Contractions are useful, especially when you’re writing informally. But beware of potentially confusing or ambiguous contractions and try to avoid those that sound awkward."
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TIPSY TODAY with Rogena © RMJ MS 12/29/14
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Rogena Mitchell-Jones | RMJ Manuscript Service LLC | www.rogenamitchell.com
Colleen Snibson | Colleen Snibson Editing | www.colleensnibsonediting.com
Two Red Pens Editing | www.tworedpens.com
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