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1. Avoid using contractions in formal writing. A contraction is a combination of two words as one, such as "don't," "can't," and "isn't." The use of contractions is inappropriate in formal legal writing. Replace them with the two-word version of the contraction.
Incorrect: He can't guarantee that the defendant will appear because the defendant hasn't called him in several days.
Correct: He can not guarantee that the defendant will appear because the defendant has not called him in several days.
2. Remember: "It's" is the contraction of "it is." The term "its" is the singular possessive of "it." The term "it's," by contrast, is the contraction of "it is."
Correct use as Possessive:My '68 Mustang is on its last journey.
Correct use as Contraction:It's a long way from Tipperary.
Cross References: Apostrophes, Possessives
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