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Native speakers of English are taught not to use contractions in formal writing, so we generally don't (except in books). When we speak, however, we use contractions far more often than not. We only use individual words when we want to stress a point (i.e. "I am NOT going to the store today."). recently, I have noticed that non-native speakers seem to avoid contractions.
"I am Christie. I am from America."
"He will not understand why I do not like him."
"She does not eat fish."
Is this because of a fear of making the wrong contraction?
Is this influenced by the lack of contractions in the L1 (mother tongue)?
Or is this just a lack of familiarity of the English contractions and usage?
Any light on this would help, thanks!
Well, in my intense English composition class~writing contractions is casual or unprofessional. Also, if the native speakers use it in writing~they will influence English learners' writing. For example" One English learner from Viet Nam came up with her own contraction "there're" while teaching English in her hometown.
As for me, it's just a position of apostrophe sign on a keyboard :) It's the button I use rarely in my native keyboard layout, so my fingers may mistype it, therefore I don't write it often if I can't see my keyboard well (e.g. if it's dark in a room). I prefer to write individual words instead in this case. But I tend to read non-contracted words like if they were contracted -- it seems for me more convenient and more... native-like.
And yes, I know, contractions should be avoided in formal texts, I speak about informal language.
Actually, Amanda, I use "there're" a lot, as in: "there're many ways to make contractions". It's a valid contraction, although a bit awkward to say.
I'm specifically talking about oral or spoken English, not written.
Probably a discipline to speak and write English properly.
I always encourage the avoidance of using contractions.