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Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >


If They 'Would Of,' They Could've


It's a fairly typical grammar error to write "would of" when you mean "would have," or its contraction, "would've." This is probably because you heard it without seeing it in print, before you knew what contractions were, and recorded the spelling in your memory banks your own way instead of the right way.


If you would HAVE known about contractions, you probably COULD'VE gotten it straight from the get-go. But now what you have is a tough habit that you will have to work a little to break.


They say it takes 25 repetitions of doing something the correct way to erase a habit of doing it the wrong way.


So sit down with a piece of paper, and think up 25 sentences in which you use a contraction for "have," and write it properly, not using the "of" that you think you hear in speech.




I would've come to dinner if I'd had the time.


I should've seen it coming.


I could've bought the right toy.


Keep going until you have 25 sentences. That should've corrected it!



By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 008 2006


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