How to choose a proper contraction “it’s not” versus “it isn’t”?

I’m aware that both it’s not and it isn’t are contractions of the same phrase, it is not. Till today, I was convinced that choosing them depends on desired emphasis. This way, choosing it’s not allows one to make an emphatic stress on not: It’s NOT my fault! …and other than that it’s just a … Read more

Is it uncommon to end a sentence with a contraction?

I tried to persuade X to go, but I couldn’t. I came across someone writing a sentence ending in a contraction, similar to the one above, and someone else saying that it’s uncommon, and that “but I could not” would be better. Is that the case? I know that contractions shouldn’t be used in formal … Read more

Appropriate usage of “can’t” and “cannot”

Are there any rules for using can’t and cannot since they mean the same thing, and they are used interchangeably, but they sound weird in certain contexts? Answer This answer at ELU suggests: Grammatically, you can use can’t instead of can not or cannot in the majority of circumstances. There is an exception. In wh-movement, … Read more

“I’ll not” vs “I won’t” – when is which preferred?

I know these two common contractions: I’ll enjoy it I won’t enjoy it I wonder: can one use the first one with a negative? I’ll not enjoy it. Is this correct? If so, when/how would one use it? Would it differ from "I won’t" semantically? Answer “I’ll not enjoy it” isn’t incorrect, but it sounds … Read more

Is it common to use “gonna” in written English and even in business English?

Gonna is a short form of going to. That sounds a little bit like slang. Is it common to use it in written English and even in business English? Answer “Gonna” is an informal contraction of “going to”. It’s used in informal speech. While informal writing is, well, informal (and thus the rules are loosely … Read more