I have or I´ve> a brother.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Nadiasantana, May 20, 2006.

  1. Nadiasantana New Member

    spanish, dominican republic
    I want to know if it´s correct to say "I´ve a 19 year old brother...." rather than saying "I have (or have got) a 19...." just because the first option sounds like it´s missing somenthing? Thanks!
  2. It's correct but I'd say it's rather unusual. "I have" does not need a contracted form since it's short anyway. Though, there are phrases which usually are spoken (sometimes also written) as "I've". For example, I've no idea. I hear lots of times people say I've no idea rather than I have no idea.
    And you should write 19-year-old. :)
    Oh, and one more thing. You used wrong key to type the apostrophe. It should look like this: I've....
  3. maxiogee Banned

    I'm here to say "Tosh!" to that statement!
    I'm sure you've come across contractions of short words before.
    I'm certain I have!


    In fact, you've even used one! It's staring you in the face! It's there twice!

    * Be careful of stating things like "… does not need…" as some people might think you are quoting a reliable source, or a grammatical law.
  4. I disagree with you. I didn't write I have must not be contracted under no circumstances. "Does not need" doesn't mean that Nadiasantana can't use contracted form of I have. I just claim it's not as usual as the full form. I hear and I see I have by far more often than I've.
  5. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    That's because you're seeing written English! In spoken English, "I've" is far more common than you suggest. It occurs almost always in some fixed expressions such as "I've got..." "I've been..." I don't remember the last time I heard "I have got" or "I have been"!

    P. S. It is true that students in the US are advised by their teachers to avoid contractions in formal writing.
  6. maxiogee Banned

    I didn't say you did, I said you need to be careful, we must always remember here that not everyone has a full grasp of the nuances of English and may misinterpret emphatic statements.

    But you used "it's" in your own post - it's a contraction of an even shorted phrase, "it is", and "I am" —> "I'm" is possibly the shortest you can get three letters doen to two!
    Living in Ireland I constantly hear "I've" and only rarely hear "I have". Nor is it as uncommon in print as you suggest.
  7. Joelline, but you've given examples of contracted have used as an auxiliary whereas my point is that I don't often hear contracted have used as a lexical verb, just like in Nadiasantana's example. Even I, a non-native speaker, use contracted auxiliary have. I would'n even think of speaking I have got...... or I have been to..... . To me, it's always I've got...., I've been..... Of course, I don't listen to as much English as you do, or Maxiogee, but my location has been filled in the form and everybody can see that I am not a native speaker. Thus, when I asnwer a question, the one who asks can conclude that I don't hear so much English and can wait for some natives' replies which might be of greater relevance. OK? :)

    So, Joelline, how would say and write? I have a 19-year-old brother. or I've a 19-old-brother. ? Leaving aside the fact you have a brother or not. :)
  8. Sairus New Member

    Milan - Italy
    Italian Italy
    The first time I went to visit the US, my level of english was pretty good although in some ways "academic", as I'd never been into an english speaking country before. I remember the first things I had to get used to were these slightly differences between the correct formal form and the real spoken form of both words and verbs, often contracted. But after that trip I realised that not only in spoken language but in newspapers, magasines and sometimes even books reported the contracted forms of a verb or noun.
  9. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    It depends on what follows. If it's the simple statement, I'd write or say "I have a brother." But if I add any detail, I'd probably say, "I've a brother who just learned to drive" or, more likely, "I've got a brother who..." In AE, it's much, much more common to indicate possession by saying "I've got" and that usage may have an impact on the fact that one hears "I've a ..." quite often.

    Again, I've been trained to avoid all contractions in formal writing, so I would generally avoid "I've" (just as I avoid it's or I'd or he'd or any other contraction!).
  10. Toepicker Member

    Manchester England
    In everyday spoken English where I live, the contracted forms are used all the time, however, I myself would say the uncontracted form if I were emphasising something Eg. 'I have no idea what you mean!' which would perhaps be used to question someone's ideas/words. The golden rule at school & college was never to use contracted forms in writing, unless quoting direct speech, and I must admit that I still stick to that general rule myself. Interestingly one of the commonest errors I hear and even see written is the use of the word 'of' instead of 'have' Eg. 'She must of heard the doorbell' instead of the correct 'she must have heard...' Does anyone else notice this? or is it a local phenomenon?
  11. I think it's one of the most famous errors, if we may call it like this. I read in several sources that mostly children and youth have problems with modals in the past. I think the problem is that when pronouncing for example could + have, it may really sound like could + of. So summing up, I don't think it's a local phenomenon. :)
  12. maxiogee Banned

    No, I think it could well be gone global by now.
    It's probably so bad now as to be almost acceptable by virtue of its ubiquity.

    "Must of" is obviously a mishearing of "must have" being repeated by people who don't know what they're actually saying.
    While accepting that "she must, of course, …" would be perfectly valid - a google-fight between "must of" and "must have" is interesting… (all figures in millions)

    I must of........ -vs- ....... I must have = 3020 : 2110
    You must of...... -vs- ..... you must have = 2180 : 1820
    He must of....... -vs- ...... he must have =
    .799 : .737
    She must of...... -vs- ..... she must have =
    .423 : .398
    We must of....... -vs- ...... We must have = 1580 : 1410
    They must of..... -vs- .... they must have = 1530 : 1430

    If we strip out the instances of "of course", we get…

    I must of........ -vs- ....... I must have = 2438 : 2110
    You must of...... -vs- ..... you must have = 1665 : 1820
    He must of....... -vs- ...... he must have =
    .469 : .737
    She must of...... -vs- ..... she must have =
    .233 : .398
    We must of....... -vs- ...... We must have = 1144 : 1410
    They must of..... -vs- .... they must have = 1058 : 1430

    These are very high figures.
  13. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    I've a 19-year-old brother sounds a bit supercilious to me. I prefer I've got a 19-year-old brother.
  14. maxiogee Banned

    My natural terseness in speech* would tend to strip away the inessentials, I'm quite capable of saying "I've a sister living in London, and I've a younger brother in Galway."

    * I can be very verbose in writing, as I try more for clarity in writing than I find necessary in speech.
  15. Toepicker Member

    Manchester England
    Thanks for the info. Fascinating and at the same time worrying!:)
  16. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    I can't explain it but the contracted form 'I've' in that sentence doesn't have that tinge of superciliousness.
    I would also say I've no idea what you mean instead of I have no idea what you mean.

    Depending on the sentence I will swap from one to the other and I've no idea why. :D
  17. fille anglaise Member

    As others have said, it's best to try and avoid I've in written situations.

    As a general rule, when speaking, I'd use "I've" if it's followed by a negative or another verb (e.g. in I've got or I've been), and "I have" in other situations (like the one you asked about, "I have a 19-year-old brother.")
  18. Robbo Senior Member

    I think we should acknowledge that this is Nadiasantana's first post to the WR Forum.

    I hope that Nadiasantana gets good, clear, helpful, accurate advice and is made to feel welcome.

  19. maxiogee Banned

    I've written I've! :D
  20. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Well, we've all written I've, if only on this post, haven't we?

    But, of course, in non-formal writing, I use contractions all the time!

    Given the numbers provided by Maxiogee, I think we should all take a blood oath to correct all of the could ofs, should ofs, would ofs that we find anywhere on WR!

    drops of blood > > @ @ @ @ @ @

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