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Could of/Should of/Would of/Off of
By Vanessa Finaughty


It’s easy to remember how to write these when you keep in mind that could’ve, should’ve and would’ve are contractions that are short for could have, should have and would have. If could of, should of and would of were correct, the contractions would read: could’f, should’f and would’f.

The word ‘of’ expresses the relationship between or the association of two or more things, expresses the relationship between a part and a whole, and quantifies a number. The word ‘off’ means ‘not on’, and ‘off of’ is bad grammar.

John got off the bed and went to the window. (Correct)
John got off of the bed and went to the window. (Incorrect)

Also note the below usages:

John looked out of the window. (Correct)
John looked out the window. (Incorrect)

John walked out of the door. (Correct)
John walked out the door. (Incorrect)

The group comprised nine members. (Correct)
The group was comprised of nine members. (Incorrect)

The group, comprising nine members, had a meeting. (Correct)
The group, comprising of nine members, had a meeting. (Incorrect)


~ Extract from the Editors’ Bible.


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