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  • Contraction of he have.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Or it might not have looked so implausible had he started the project years back when they still had the lake house: why couldn't he've taken up boat building then?

    The Arks What Weren't

  • "Could Biltzmann ... could he've been correct?" she asked nervously.

    Noble House

  • "Could Biltzmann … could he've been correct?" she asked nervously.

    Noble House

  • How can he've been a doctor this long and not developed reflexes for certain conditions?

    Gravity's Rainbow

  • 'Nobody'd think it from they grimy paws,' said May Gold to herself; 'but he've got a skin as fair as a maid's.'

    Despair's Last Journey

  • "'Un says he've got ter have his bed at Frenchy's," one of them explained to me.

    Sweetapple Cove

  • An 'Captain he've been round ter say they is still quite a jobble of a sea outside but he can make it fine, and he've steam up.

    Sweetapple Cove

  • Frenchy's little bye, all wid 'yeller curls, a-playin' wid our laddies, and Sammy Moore he've brung a barrel o 'flour, and a box wid pork, and they is more tea and sugar.

    Sweetapple Cove

  • "Me cousin Hyatt he've brung some meat off'n the mash, an 'I briled some."

    Sweetapple Cove

  • "Jim he've written once ter the sister o 'he," Captain Sammy told me one day.

    Sweetapple Cove


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  • In my experience, "should he have" often gets contracted not to "should he've" but to something more like "should he of". As milos says in his first comment, the contraction is common but there's a schwa between the he and the ve. I think this is because he ends in a vowel - compare would've or that've which are common.

    April 30, 2010

  • a - no, I was just saying that he've as we're using it is generally pronounced disyllabically, as something a little like he'ave. He'd've I was just giving as an example of a 've word with he in it with the vowel completely assimilated, as in I've, we've.

    Colloquially I'm comfortable writing should've, but I've never written or seen he've. It would look as strange to me as Should I've taken the left turn?

    April 29, 2010

  • I'm not familiar with linguistics terminology either, but here's what's correct grammatically, at least in American English:

    He should've taken the left turn.

    Should he've taken the left turn?

    Both are examples of informal speech and wouldn't (because of the contractions) normally turn up in written works, unless it were dialogue.

    ("Should he have had taken..." is as weirdly incorrect as "He should have had taken.")

    Moreover, I'm disturbed that Milos is even questioning whether shit should eat pizza. Gross!


    April 28, 2010

  • Well, every other 've contraction is a standard use of perfect aspect: I've gone crazy, you've gone crazy, they've gone crazy, we've gone crazy. You of course notice now the difference: he's gone crazy, she's gone crazy, it's gone crazy. The use of have here appears to be some hidden English idiom for the conditional mood, past tense. I suspect the infinitive, as when compared with the copula: I am frightened, he is frightened; should I be frightened? should he be frightened? -- and even, in fact, in regular verbs, in the solitary regular English conjugation of third person singular: I eat pizza, s/h/it eats pizza; should I eat pizza? should s/h/it eat pizza?

    So I'd ask, I guess, about how these other abbreviations sound to your ear: Should I've taken the left turn? Should we've taken the left turn? If you're like me, when you try to say those out loud, you slip in a bit of a vowel between the we and the 've, even when you try to glide them together, dissimilar to the ordinary sort of we've. A much easier vocal blend (though never written out) is the past perfect, he'd've, we'd've.

    April 28, 2010

  • No, should have waited until the squirrels crossed and then gone straight ahead.

    April 27, 2010