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Abbreviations, contractions and acronyms

Abbreviations

An abbreviation is a shortened version of a word. Abbreviations normally end in a full stop, but this can be left out for commonly used abbreviations

cont. i.e.
e.g. no.
et al. p. / pp.
etc. para.

Contractions

Contractions are shortened version of words in which the last letter of the original word is present. They don’t need a full stop.

Mr Rd
Qld St

Acronyms

Acronyms are initial letters, sometimes pronounced as a word. They are usually all capitals, and they don’t need a full stop at the end. When an acronym has entered common usage, it is sometimes written with just an initial capital.
ABC CSIRO
Anzac TAFE

Unless it is commonly understood, define the acronym the first time you use it.

  • You may be eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

When you use an acronym in a sentence, say it out loud to see if you should use ‘a’ or ‘an’. If the sound of the acronym starts with a vowel, use ‘an’.

  • an ABC documentary
  • a UNESCO program