+0
i am attempting to explain the difference between could of and could have and really don't know if i am explaining it correctly or not.

My example is: I could of picked up the praying mantis to observe it, but that might of hurt the mantis.

I believe that is incorrect and corrected I have: I could have picked up the praying mantic to observe it, but that might have hurt the mantis.

Could someone check this and make sure I am doing this correctly? Any explanation would be greatly appreciated!!!
1 2 3
Comments  (Page 2) 
Does the use of 'of' instead of 'have' mean that you are unable to understand the meaning of what is being written or said? No, thought not...
Correct. I think the of comes from the sound heard when the contraction 've is used. Could've sounds like could of.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Could of should never go together unless it is part of two different element; eg He ate all he could of his mum's cake.

Could have, would have and should have are all correct. The only reason we tend to write could of it because of could have's contraction 'could've' - it sounds like could of.

Hope this helps; it can get frustrating when marking students work :-)
Correct is "an adverb" instead "a adverb"
It doesn't even sounds good:)
Anonymous Does the use of 'of' instead of 'have' mean that you are unable to understand the meaning of what is being written or said? No, thought not...
Well, if you were someone who was learning English as a second language, using 'have' instead of 'of' could make a big difference in your understanding.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Ooooh, but when you're a foreigner- student in a British Uni, and you read on the whiteboard could of you feel like shouting...could've!!!! I had this on my mind all day!
AnonymousOoooh, but when you're a foreigner- student in a British Uni, and you read on the whiteboard could of you feel like shouting...could've!!!! I had this on my mind all day!
Very frustrating. Just the right moment to remember the old maxim Ignore the ignorant. Maybe that will help keep you calm. Emotion: smile

CJ
Yes, but the the it's (in your second sentence) should not have an apostrophe.

It's always means it is.

Its means belonging to it (which is the form needed to describe the noun's preposition, ie "the noun preceded by its preposition).
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
You are right have is a transitive verb.
Show more