As a copy editor, it is important to understand the basics of grammar and syntax to create clear and concise content. One area that is often the source of confusion for writers and editors alike is the use of contracted forms of «would» and «had.» In this article, we will explore the right ways to use contracted forms of these two modal verbs, specifically, «would`ve» and «hadn`t.»
First, let us look at «would`ve,» a contraction of «would have.» The proper use of this contraction is often misunderstood, leading to grammatical errors. «Would`ve» should only be used to indicate something that could have happened in the past but did not. For example, «I would`ve gone to the party if I had known about it» is correct because it indicates that the speaker did not attend the party due to a lack of information. However, «I would`ve gone to the party if I knew about it» is incorrect because it implies that the speaker could still attend the party even though they currently lack knowledge of it.
On the other hand, «hadn`t» is a contraction of «had not» and is used to express a negative in the past. For example, «She hadn`t seen the movie before» indicates that the person did not see the movie in the past, while «She hadn`t seen the movie yet» implies that the person could still see the movie in the future.
It is essential to remember that both «would`ve» and «hadn`t» cannot be used in a present context. For instance, «I would`ve worked on my paper tonight» should be changed to «I will work on my paper tonight» to reflect the present situation.
In conclusion, the accurate use of contracted forms of «would» and «had» is crucial in creating concise and grammatically correct content. «Would`ve» should only indicate something that could have happened in the past but did not, while «hadn`t» is used to express a negative in the past. By understanding these basic rules governing these contractions, copy editors can ensure that their work is clear and error-free.