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 the word have should be avoided when writing.

If you use of in place of the word have when you speak, you'll need to change that, too!

To find out why, watch Learn Why WOULD OF, COULD OF, & SHOULD OF Are Mistakes from GrammarREVOLUTION:

Part of the problem is that when hear words like the contraction could've, it sounds like could of. So, you need to be careful with your speech as well.

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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