As a copy editor, one of the most common questions I receive is whether or not it`s acceptable to use a contraction on just one side of a sentence. The answer is yes, but with some caveats.
First, let`s define what a contraction is. A contraction is a shortened form of a word or phrase that uses an apostrophe to replace one or more letters. For example, “can`t” is a contraction of “cannot.”
Now, in terms of usage, it is perfectly fine to use a contraction on just one side of a sentence. For example, “I can`t believe it, can you?” is a perfectly acceptable sentence. However, you should be careful about the tone you convey when using contractions on just one side.
If you`re writing for a formal audience, it`s best to avoid using contractions altogether. Using a contraction on just one side of a sentence can make the sentence appear choppy or unprofessional. However, if you`re writing for a casual or conversational audience, using contractions on just one side can help create a natural flow to your writing.
It`s also important to keep in mind that certain contractions are more commonly used on one side of a sentence than the other. For example, “ain`t” is almost always used at the beginning of a sentence, while “don`t” and “can`t” are more commonly used at the end of a sentence.
In conclusion, using a contraction on just one side of a sentence is acceptable, but it`s important to consider your audience and the tone you want to convey. It`s also important to be aware of which contractions are more commonly used on one side of a sentence than the other. As always, the key is to keep your writing clear, concise, and consistent.