This is a quote. You can't change the sentence. If the quote says didn't, do not change it into did not.

See example:

"I have spoken to your father and he says that you didn't mean to hit the policeman."
asked Nov 10 '11 at 15:03 Alexander Ostojic New member

1 answer


I'm not sure what the question is.  Yes, if you are quoting what someone said or wrote, you should quote them verbatim. 


There are different ways that you can change a quotation. 


If you are deleting part of the quotation, you use an elipsis.  "I have spoken to your father ... you didn't mean to hit the policeman." 


If there is an obvious error in spelling or grammar, place [sic] after the error to show that you know it was an error, but it was the original speaker's error. 


It is generally acceptable to make corrections to small spelling errors, unless it is important for the reader to know the person spelled it wrong.  There seems no reason to me that you would need to change "didn't" into "did not" in your sentence.  The latter sounds more formal and could possibly put more emphasis on "not" than may have originally been intended.  If you do decide to change a word or words in a quotation, you put the words in [square brackets].  This is often used to make something more clear.  A reporter often uses this tool when the speaker refers to "him" and they need to make sure the reader knows who that is.  "I talked to [John Smith] and..."

link comment answered Nov 10 '11 at 21:39 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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