Tuesday’s Tips: “Have” vs. “Of”

A big pet peeve of mine is when writers use the word “of” instead of “have,” e.g. “would of,” “should of,” or “could of.” I realize that when spoken, particularly by Southerners, this is how it may sound. However, it is incorrect. The correct verb constructions are:

would have

could have

should have

must have

The fact that many of my students graduated high school without having this bad habit corrected fills me with an overwhelming, claustrophobic sense of doom for the human race.

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