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Contractions are words such as don’t, can’t and you’re, which have been produced by contracting two words (do not, can not, you are) into one, to reflect the way we speak. The way you speak is usually a good guide to the way you should write, so if you feel you should use a contraction when you say the sentence out loud, it’ll usually flow best that way in writing. People sometimes worry about using contractions in “formal” documents, but most readers expect official and professional documents to be less formal – in the sense of stuffy and fussy – than they once did. Instead, because people have so much to read, they value readability and flow much more – and using contractions improves both.