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!



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


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 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!!!


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!


10 Question Grammar test: They’re v their, you’re v your and it’s v its

Adjectives vs Adverbs – English grammar rules

How to say ‘ough’ in English pronunciation

How to write better English sentences for the IELTS exam

What do students say about SGI English School in London?

Related Posts

About St George International
big ben and

A leading ‘English as a foreign language’​ school in London helping you meet your learning objectives in the shortest time.

Popular Post