It is time to rock, but don't be too loud.

Is it recommended to stay consistent with the use of apostrophes? Should it instead be:

It's time to rock, but don't be too loud.

If that is fine either way, what about using the same words with and without apostrophes such as do not and don't?

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    And by the way, congrats on asking the 14000th question here! – Daniel Mar 16 '12 at 3:20

Words like it's and don't are called contractions. There's no rule or reason why you should either contract all possible phrases in a sentence, or else keep them uncontracted. In fact, I read your examples several times before I figured out the difference between them. It's fine either way, and the same goes for don't/do not.

That said, there are some times when a contraction has a slightly different flavor than its uncontracted counterpart. Don't is an example of this, sounding more colloquial and less stilted in informal speech than do not.

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  • Great explanation, thanks. I thought it was a matter of style. – domino Mar 16 '12 at 2:10
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    It is a matter of style. Don't means the same as do not, but the style is different. (Or is that what you said?) – Daniel Mar 16 '12 at 2:13
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    @Daniel: Okay, I'll confess too! I only upvoted your comment to thank you for the chuckle on your recently deleted answer! Since I'm in confessional mode I should admit that since writing that last sentence I've re-read your comment in light of domino's preceding, and got another laugh! Without vocal inflection, how do we know which version he meant? "I had thought it was a matter of style (thanks for straightening me out)", or "I always thought it was a matter of style (thanks for confirming my thinking)". The text is not all! – FumbleFingers Mar 16 '12 at 3:56

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