Sentence Fluency: Avoid Using “Of” for “Have”

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12625

I would of used "have" in my sentence, then I would of gotten an A instead of a B. There is a common error lurking in that sentence, but you can fix it after learning the difference between two words!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Which would you choose: the hamburger and French fries or the fresh blueberries? I would of chosen the hamburger, and you might have chosen the blueberries. The bad part is that someone chose the wrong words . . .

In the photo above, the woman is making a choice: she is choosing to avoid the hamburger and French fries for the healthier choice of fresh blueberries.

You probably make choices like this every day — not necessarily with what food to eat, but with activities, what clothes to wear, and who you choose as your friends. You make similar choices when you write. You choose whether to write using correct grammar and spelling rules or not to use them. For example, have you ever heard anyone say, “I could of beat you,” or “We should of gone to the movies”?

Before moving on, if you need to see any of the previous Sentence Fluency lessons, go to Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar.

Using the word “of” in place of “have” should be avoided when writing. If you use “of” in place of the word “have” when you speak, then you will automatically start writing that way as well. You might have to change the way you think in order to correct this error. As you watch Howcast's When to Use “Of” vs. “Have” | Grammar Lessons, write down what the difference is between the words "of" and "have." Also, give an example of how to use each one correctly:


As you learned in the video, part of the problem is that when we use words like the contraction “could’ve,” we translate that when writing to “could of,” because that is how it sounds. So, you need to be careful with your speech with regard to these contractions and how you write them. You always want to be specific, both when you write and when you speak. It is a skill you will use for the rest of your life!

Continue to the Got It? section to practice identifying and correcting these problems.

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