When we say the verb “to have” after a modal verb (should, could, would, must, might) “have” is often shortened to “ve” /əv/ or just /ə/. For example:
|“should not have”||becomes||“shouldn’ve”||/ʃʊdənəv/|
|“could not have”||becomes||“couldn’ve”||/kʊdənəv/|
|“would not have”||becomes||“wouldn’ve”||/wʊdənəv/|
You may also hear the /v/ drop out completely in conversational English.
I should have gone to the doctor sooner.
He should have bought a rainproof coat.
She should have written the exam.
They should have called home sooner.
In retrospect, I should have paid with cash.
They shouldn’t have taken the back road during the storm.
We shouldn’t have gone out in the storm yesterday.
The politician shouldn’t have missed the rally.
I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night.
The windows shouldn’t have been left open all night.
Bob could have come to the meeting sooner.
I could have helped you move, had I known.
You could have stayed for dinner.
What could have happened to George? He is so late.
We could have saved some more money for the trip.
Couldn’t have we taken another road to Banff?
I couldn’t have eaten another bite after that feast.
We couldn’t have purchased it with my credit card.
I couldn’t have done such a good job without your help.
Edmonton couldn’t have been colder than Winnipeg this winter.
I would have taken you to the airport if you had called me.
If it weren’t for a prior commitment, I would have gone to the party.
He would have taken scuba lessons before going to Hawaii, if he had the money.
We would have been happy to help you build the garage.
The group would have come to town if they had enough time.
If it hadn’t been for Mary, I wouldn’t have known about it.
I wouldn’t have come all this way just for lunch.
Who wouldn’t have contributed to the going-away gift?
The school wouldn’t have let the children ignore the fire alarm.
We wouldn’t have left the door unlocked.
You must have seen Ian at the Stampeders’ game.
He must have had a reason for being so angry with Peter.
She must have really been in a hurry.
The manager must have made her expectations clear.
The treatment must have been effective for the diabetic patient.
I might have come to your BBQ if you had told me about it sooner.
That might have been a great opportunity for you.
The problem might have had to do with a faulty conveyor belt.
Bruce might have hidden the present in the basement.
They might have won a free trip to London.