“Could Have” vs. “Could Of”: What’s the Difference?
Jun 8, 2023
The difference between “could have” and “could of”
"Could have" is a correct phrase, while "could of" is a common mistake.
"Could have" combines two distinct verbs to indicate an action or possibility that existed in the past, while "could of" has no grammatical significance.
Using "could of" instead of "could have" is incorrect and can lead to misunderstandings in written or spoken communication.
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What is the definition of “could have” and “could of”?
"Could have" is a combination of the modal verb "could" and the auxiliary verb "have" used to express a possibility that existed in the past.
It is often used to indicate missed opportunities or regretful actions that could have been taken in the past.
It is always followed by the past participle of the main verb.
"Could of" is not a correct phrase in English; it is a common error made instead of "could have."
It stems from the way "could've" sounds when spoken aloud, which can be misinterpreted as "could of."
Using "could of" instead of "could have" is grammatically incorrect and can negatively impact effective communication.
Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?
is the more popular variant on the web.
697,000,000 results on the web
I could have finished my work earlier if I hadn't procrastinated.
They could have won the game if they had played better.
She could have been a doctor if she had pursued it.
24,900,000 results on the web
"Could of" is not a correct phrase in English.
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