Discussion in 'English Only' started by twinklestar, Sep 30, 2008.
Can I write "have" to "ve" in the following sentence?
I've a book.
I guess grammitcally you can say that, but it sounds awkward to me.
"I have a book that I think you would enjoy reading."
"I've got a book that I think you would enjoy reading."
You can write it that way if you would actually say it that way. Usually, though, (and there are exceptions) when "have" is contracted, it is the auxiliary verb "have", and not "have" meaning "to possess".
Thank you, guys.
The contraction of "I have" is rarely said in such short sentences, particularly where "have" is the main verb and not an auxiliary one. For example: "I've got a lot of books", where the verb to get takes the place of the main verb, even though "have" is sufficient as the verb of possession. The verb to have may be abbreviated in longer sentences, even if it is the main verb: "I've a book you might be interested in". However this tends to be restricted to spoken English and, I think, is unlikely to be seen in writing.
I've a book is English but not American English.
In spoken English, it's said all the time. "I've been to England to see the Queen", "I've just bought a new car", etc.
In casual writing such as letters or e-mails to friends and acquaintances, it would be perfectly acceptable. Google hits 694 million times on "I've".
The difference between his example and yours is the nature of the verb, a transitive verb and an auxiliary. In the first case, at least in American English, it is unidiomatic; it may be true that in Canada I've a book is idiomatic.
Similar to what paintedhouse said, I've a book is reminiscent, for me, of Enid Blyton novels or similar. That is, it sounds like something a posh English child would say, not something I would say, although I recognise it as an acceptable form grammatically.
I've been..., I've just... etc. (auxiliary verb) are of course common and idiomatic here, as elsewhere.
I dig up this thread just to add a little question:
about the contraction of the verb to have, I've seen that it should not be used in the contracted form when it indicates a duty; for example: I have to go. Is it correct? Can I say: "I've to go" or does it sounds wierd?
Thank you very much!
Yes, that would sound strange. You can say either "I have to go" or "I've got to go". In the latter case "have" is contracted because it functions as the auxiliary of the verb "get". In the former case you can't contract because it is not being used as an auxiliary.
Crystal clear, my friend!
Thank you very much!
Here is a thread that shows the wide range of opinions on this topic:
I have to admit / I've to admit - Contracted forms
Some people agree with Giorgio Spizzi; some have different views.
Thanks a lot, Cagey!
Three years later,
I hear natives say: We've a tree house NOT we have a tree house.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
No, I don't think you are wrong, Emanko, except at the end, where you write that people don't say we have a tree house.
I found a lot of this thread went against my experience of British English, but then a good deal of it came from Americans and they speak a different version of English. I'm not suggesting they are wrong.
I could easily say either I've a book or I have a book depending on my mood, the time of day, my audience, or how emphatic I wished to sound.
As for the so-called "I have" of duty: I could say either I've to go or I have to go; they carry slightly different implications.
I've to go means I'm due to go, I've arranged to go. Often the duty is weak and has been imposed on me by myself, or by some external agreement or arrangement.
I have to go can easily mean I must go, there is an external obligation on me to go. It's stronger than I've to go.
Separate names with a comma.