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You are watching: Is a contraction one word or two
I read this in a product review, and it has been bugging me all day.
Three words: it”s really cheap.
“It”s” is obviously a contraction of two words, but does it count as one or two words?
MS Word and the concordoncer I’m using count them as one. Some dictionaries may count them as two. It all depends on what your purpose is in counting.
According to your question, “It”s” is obviously a contraction of two words
… into one, right?
Where”s the doubt, then?
In the given context, it is beyond question that “It”s” is one word.
In a different context where you may be concerned with serious lexical parsing, you may need to treat it as two words, though.
If it has spaces or other punctuation around it, it is one word, just as hyphenated words and compound words are. Each of these list items is a single word:
won’t, he’ll, oughtn’t, ’tisn’t, I’d’ve, couldn’t’ve, o’rreaching, mine’ll, ain’t, durstn’tbig-hearted, teeter-totter, to-morrow, now-a-days, snarf-n-barf, wine-colored, re-elect, vis-à-vis, tête-à-tête, air-cushioned, arch-enemy, salpingo-oöphorectomycannot, tomorrow, yesterday, nowadays, windshield, Christmas, Halloween, Michaelmas, elsewhither, grandmother, crosswalk, corkscrew, overdiversified, overreaching, breastfeed
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