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Should have, should’ve or should of

Should have refers to a missed opportunity, an unfulfilled obligation. Should have is often expressed as the contraction should’ve, especially in speech. Should’ve sounds perilously like should of, however should of is not correct and should never be used. Contractions have been around as long as the English language, many examples exist in Old English. Interestingly, while the use of contractions has always been popular in spoken English, there have been periods in history when the use of contractions in written English was frowned upon. Today, contractions such as should’ve are not generally used in academic and scientific writing, but may be found in more informal methods of written communication.


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Examples

Below, I’ve compiled a list of nominees of color over the last 15 years that should’ve received nominations and even won the statue. (The Huffington Post)

The Gunners signed just one player, midfielder Mohamed Elneny, last month, and Merson believes the club should’ve done more to enhance their chances of winning a first Premier League title since 2004. (The Mirror)

Maybe Rex Ryan should’ve let Williams rush more, but the film also reveals a player struggling to beat blockers one on one. (The Buffalo News)

Democrats say colleges and students are in desperate need for money because they’ve gotten no state funding since July 1, when the budget should’ve taken effect. (The Canton Daily Ledger)

A bear mauling didn’t kill Leo DiCaprio’s The Revenant character — but hypothermia should’ve (The National Post)

“We didn’t really change that much and we felt that maybe our perceived notion of who we are as people should’ve changed.” (Rolling Stone Magazine)

January and February are made for working through lists of nominated films and should’ve-been-nominated films and for exploring documentaries and foreign films you missed over the past year. (L.A. Weekly)

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