In this blog post we look at when to use could have and when to use could of.
"Could have" is the correct form of the phrase. It is used to express the possibility or past ability to do something.
For example, "I could have finished the project on time if I had started earlier."
"Could of" is not a correct phrase.
It is a common misspelling of "could have," likely due to the fact that "could" and "of" are both frequently used words and the fact that the phrase "could have" is often abbreviated as "could've, which sounds similar to “could of”.
However, "could of" is not grammatically correct and should be avoided in writing. Instead, use "could have."
Here are ten examples using the phrase "could have":
I could have finished the project on time if I had started earlier.
He could have passed the exam if he had studied harder.
She could have gone to the party, but she decided to stay home instead.
We could have gone to the beach, but it was raining.
I could have finished the marathon, but I was feeling tired and decided to stop at the halfway point.
He could have asked for help, but he decided to try to do it on his own.
She could have taken the bus, but she decided to walk instead.
I could have finished the puzzle if I had more time.
He could have invited us to the party, but he forgot.
She could have finished the race, but she twisted her ankle and had to stop.