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Use common contractions to enhance the friendly and conversational tone of your content.

Contractions are short forms of multiple words, formed by replacing omitted letters with an apostrophe. The conversational tone of Unity content means that it's okay to use contractions.

In user interfaces (UIs), don't mix contractions and their spelled-out equivalents. For example, don’t use "can’t" and "cannot" in the same UI.

Use contractions only when they increase the readability of your content.

Contractions to use

Use common contractions that most readers, including international English speakers, can understand. Use only the contractions listed in the following sections. Don't use any other contractions in your content.

Contractions with "is" and "are"

Use the following common contractions formed from "is" and "are."

ContractionFull formContractionF ull form
you'reyou arehere'shere is
they'rethey arethat'sthat is
it'sit isthere'sthere is

Contractions with "not"

In your content, use the contracted form of the following negations. Don't use the non-contracted form for emphasis.

ContractionFull formContractionFull form
aren'tare nothasn'thas not
can'tcannothaven'thave not
didn'tdid notisn'tis not
doesn'tdoes notwasn'twas not
don'tdo notweren'twere not

Don't write "must not" in its contracted form, "mustn't." The contracted form reduces the emphasis of the command.

If "not" follows two words that can be contracted, then contract the first two words and write "not" in full to emphasize the negation. Don't form double contractions.

it isn'tit's not
there is notthere's not

Contractions to avoid

Avoid contractions that can be ambiguous, that sound unnatural, or that violate other rules in the Unity Style Guide.

Contractions with "have," "has," and "had"

Don't use contractions that shorten the word "have," "has," or "had." These contractions can be ambiguous or can feel unnatural in writing.


The contraction "it's" can mean both "it is" (present tense) and "it has" (past tense). To reduce ambiguity in your content, use it's only to mean "it is."

The possessive form "its" isn't a contraction and doesn't use an apostrophe.

you'veyou have
you'dyou had
it'sit has
they'vethey have

Contractions with interrogatives

Don't use contractions formed from interrogative words, such as "who," "when," "why," and "how." Instead, write the words out in full.

who'vewho have
what'swhat is
where'dwhere did
how'rehow are

Contractions with future or uncertain tense

Don’t use contractions that violate other aspects of the style guide, such as using future tense, first person, or modal verbs that express uncertainty.

won'tRewrite to use present tense.
you'llRewrite to use present tense.
couldn'tRewrite to avoid using "could."
shouldn'tRewrite to avoid using "should."
wouldn'tRewrite to avoid using "would."

Rewrite to avoid using "would." Depending on the situation, you might use the following phrase instead:

  • there can [be]...
  • there might [be]...

let'sRewrite to remove the first person perspective.

Contractions with nouns and verbs

Don't use contractions formed from a noun and a verb.

While Unity’s processing,...While Unity is processing,...
The buttons're grayed out.The buttons are grayed out.

Ambiguous or informal contractions

Don't use contractions if the reader might misinterpret them, or if they sound overly informal or unnatural. Don't use double contractions.

there'rethere are
'twasit was
mightn'tmight not
mustn'tmust not
mightn't'vemight not have