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Is one stronger than the other? More correct? Just curious, one of the many abstract things to pop into my head on the drive home today...

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Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/14748/… –  Marthaª Mar 4 '11 at 1:02
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I just prefer to say it'sn't. –  JSBձոգչ Mar 4 '11 at 2:54
    
Possible duplicate of They are not: They're not vs They aren't. –  kiamlaluno Mar 4 '11 at 3:42
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I tend to think "it isn't" sounds a little more formal than "it's not", which sounds a bit more colloquial. I don't really have any solid reason for that though, it just sounds/feels that way to me. –  Cam Jackson Jan 15 '12 at 4:29
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4 Answers

They're very similar in meaning -- both are correct, both are contractions of "it is not", and both are fairly casual in tone. The differences are extremely slight, and easily negated in spoken speech by word emphasis.

(Of course, contractions are often discouraged in formal or technical writing.)

Perhaps one might avoid "it's not" because it sounds a bit like "it snot". I can't think of ant other reasons one might prefer one or the other.

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The biggest difference between the two is how many syllables it takes to say them:

It*is*n't vs Its*not

This obviously matters a whole lot for rhythm and rhyme.

Sometimes (though rarely) it is worth avoiding the harsh 's' sound from it's not due to microphones' tendency to accentuate the sssss.

But in terms of meaning there is no significant difference. Using "it is not" would sound a tad more formal due to the lack of contractions and the overt effort required to say it that way.

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I would say that the only difference is that you can put emphasis on the word 'not' in the latter example (when spoken)

It's NOT good...

It would be more difficult to emphasise the word "isn't"

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Your answer, it isn't good. ;) –  z7sg Ѫ Mar 30 '11 at 11:23
    
I think you have a point here: keeping the word 'not' results in more emphasis on the negation. –  clabacchio Oct 17 '13 at 11:24
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They are identical, even in connotation.

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protected by tchrist Aug 24 '13 at 3:14

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