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Alternative forms[edit]

  • -a (slang)


Contraction of have.


  • (postvocalic) IPA(key): /v/
  • (postconsonantal) IPA(key): /əv/
  • Homophone: of (postconsonantal 've only, unstressed of only)



  1. Have in its sense marking the perfect or retrospective tense.
    • 2015 November 30, Shane O'Mara, Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation[1], Harvard University Press, →ISBN, page 12:
      Santorum, in a comment regarding Senator John McCain's repudiation of torture, stated, "He doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they've broken they become cooperative" (Summers 2011).
  2. (dialectal) Have in its other uses.

Usage notes[edit]

In many dialects, -'ve is only used to mark the perfect aspect ("I've done something" = "I have done something"), not to signify possession ("I have something"), necessity ("I have to do something"), etc. In others, -'ve is used more broadly; this is sometimes proscribed.

Related terms[edit]

  • 'd (past tense)
  • 's (third person)