Phyllis sighed as she removed the key left in the front door by her son, Scott, 13. She heard his stereo blaring. Calmly, she went to his room and opened the door without knocking.

Scott was sitting on his bed . Without a word, Phyllis turned off the stereo.

Scott looked at her in dismay. “Hey! I was listening to that!”

“So were the neighbors three blocks away. How many times do I have to tell you to respect other people?”

“Hey, I respect people. If I didn’t, I would of done lots of terrible things.”

“‘Have’ done,” said Phyllis.

“What?” “You would HAVE done, not would of,” said Phyllis.

Scott snickered. “Oh, come on!”

Phyllis thought for a moment. Then she picked up one of Scott’s CD’s. Taking a ballpoint pen from his desk, she scratched one of his CDs over and over.

“Hey! Stop!” cried Scott.

“I SHOULD HAVE done this a long time ago,” said Phyllis. “I certainly WOULD HAVE done it if I’d thought of it.”

Remember: would “have,” should “have,” could “have” – never “of”


1) Conrad (would of/would have) written to the governor about allowing pets to vote, but he didn’t have his address.

2) After Maureen misplaced her keys for the third time, she told her superintendent, “I (should have/should of) made these into a bracelet.”


1) would have

2) should have