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Search TERMIUM Plus®
To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

could have, could’ve, could of

Avoid the non-standard spelling could of, in which the preposition of is incorrectly substituted for the verb have or its contraction ’ve.

  • Jason could have (not could of) helped you with that.
  • You could’ve (not could of) said so sooner!

The error is equally common with should have, would have, might have and must have and their contractions.

  • I should have (not should of) studied longer for my English test.
  • Our neighbours would’ve (not would of) enjoyed seeing that film.
  • We might have (not might of) missed our flight if we had waited.
  • Hannah must’ve (not must of) left by now.