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Would have vs would of in English grammar

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Would have vs would of in English grammar

Should you write 'would have' or 'would of'?

Is there a difference between the two?

Is would've a word?

The problem with this English grammar issue is that when you SAY 'would have' out loud, it can sound like 'would of'.

It is a mistake that people make a lot, even some native speakers of English make this mistake!

 

WOULD HAVE

Examples:

I would have had a barbecue last Saturday, but it was raining all weekend.

If your parents had asked me, I would have picked them up from the airport.

 

In grammar, these example sentences above are known as 3rd conditionals or Perfect conditionals. The person saying the sentence is showing regret, or wants to change the past situation.

If you want to write WOULD HAVE in a short way, then write WOULD'VE

 

WOULD'VE

When you speak quickly, WOULD HAVE is shortened (or 'contracted') to WOULD'VE

.... and it sounds almost exactly the same as saying WOULD OF

 

Here is the pronunciation of these confusing words in the way you would find them written in a dictionary (with phonetics)

WOULD HAVE  =  wʊd hæv

WOULD'VE  =  wʊdəv

WOULD OF  =  wʊdəv   or   wʊdɒv

 

WOULD OF

WOULD OF is NOT the same as WOULD HAVE

If you write WOULD OF in sentences like the examples above, it is a big grammatical mistake! 

If you are taking an English test like IELTS or FCE and you write WOULD OF, you will definitely lose marks for grammar knowledge.

DO NOT write WOULD OF!!!

 

IMPORTANT

The ONLY time that you will need to write WOULD OF is in sentences (like these below) which are NOT COMMON.

I would, of course, pick them up from the airport if they can't book a taxi.

She's only asking you what she would of herself.

 

Both of these type of sentences are almost definitely not going to be written by you in an Academic English exam, so delete WOULD OF from your writing!

 


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