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Difference Between Would Have and Would Of

Would Have vs Would Of

Language is known to be fluid and ever-changing. The dictionary gets updated every year, and new words keep on adding up to the universal vocabulary. The words may come from the modification of the native tongue influenced by globalization and the exchange of culture between races. Most of the time, however, the formulation of the terms rises from the need to develop slang for “more colorful” communication among groups who prefer to converse with their own exclusive language.

Historically, there are a lot of words included in the Webster’s Dictionary that have developed from the wrong usage in grammar, which in time became acceptable because of their popularity. More often than not, these words result from the combination of already-existing terms and slang.
The word “would” is not spared from this hype.

“Would” is generally used to refer to a possibility of a particular activity, action, or ability, such as “If I were a billionaire, I would donate my riches to charities.” The term is also used in tag questions: “You would have saved me, wouldn’t you?”

“Have” is usually the word that follows “would” when one tries to express a possibility as in “I would have traveled to France had I not been promoted.”
Then again, most people often mistake “would have” with “would of.” The latter is a common grammatical error to start with. “Would of” cannot be used because “would” is a modal. Meaning, “would” is used to give judgment, interpretations, and likelihood. It is an auxiliary verb that should be combined with another verb to indicate mood or tense.
Thus, combining “would” and “of” would simply be problematic as “of” is a preposition and cannot be used with modals.
From various accounts from websites, grammarians have come up with an explanation of the usage of “would of.” Some see it as a slang of “would have.” After all, “would have” and “would of” would sound alike during spoken or verbal communication.

Judging from various write-ups and transcripts of conversation that the grammarians used to study this trend, it is clear that most people use “would of” instead of “would have” in referring to likelihoods due to an accented pronunciation. “Have” may be heard as “uv” which may translate to the other person interpreting it as “of.”
Despite the wide usage of “would of,” nonetheless, grammarians refuse to have the phrase accepted in the convention of language as the combination break the rules of modal verb tie-up. “Would have,” on the other hand, is the correct form of it as “have” may also be used to express condition and possibility.

To make things clearer, one must know when to use “would” and “of.” In the English language, “would” is used when:

Stating a past action: “I would play after school when I was three.”
Expressing refusal: “He would not lend me the book.”
Referring to condition: “If I finish early, I would join you for dinner.”
Picturing impossibility: “I would like to be the next President of the United States.”

“Of,” being a preposition, on the other hand, takes the following functions:

Indicating a point of reckoning: “North of the U.S.”
Indicating origin: “Woman of noble birth.”
Referring to motives or reason: “Died of anemia.”
Indicating components/materials: “A cup of water.”
Relating to or giving respect to a reference: “Stories of travel.”

From these lists of usage for both “would” and “of,” anyone can see that using the two words together would make for an awkward sentence construction. For example, saying “I would of given you all of my heart” would not make sense.
“Would have,” on the other hand, would be more proper as “have” is a verb which can function as a supplement to any modal.
Summary:

1.“Would of” is grammatically incorrect; “would have” is the proper way to express possibility, conditions, or likelihood.
2.“Would of” is a result of slang and incorrect pronunciation of people; “would have” is part of formal English.
3.“Would of” is a combination of a modal and a preposition which, in theory, gives an awkward sentence construction. 4.“Would have,” on the other hand, consists of an auxiliary verb and a regular verb that can complement each other.


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1 Comment

  1. I’m not sure I agree with the comparison. I don’t think it is would of, but would’ve that people are using. I can’t say that I seen would of written, but I don’t read everyting.
    Just my .02 worth.

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