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Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession?
Can you contract the main verb in a sentence?

Is we've equivalent to we have?

In some cases, they do seem to be correct, but sometimes they don't. Consider these 4 sentences.

We've got a problem here.
We have got a problem here.

We've a problem here.
We have a problem here.

Which of these are correct, and which are wrong?

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marked as duplicate by Marthaª, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, kiamlaluno, RegDwigнt Mar 11 '11 at 21:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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@RegDwight Thanks! I did some search on the site before posting, but I didn't know what terms to search for exactly. –  Dogbert Mar 11 '11 at 19:32
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The search doesn't really work for words such as "have". Entirely not your fault. What I can recommend instead is having a look at the "faq" tab under "Questions", or googling using the "site:" operator. –  RegDwigнt Mar 11 '11 at 19:35
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2 Answers 2

We've is simply a contraction of we have. All your examples are correct grammatically, it's just that some sound better than others.

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British English finds it generally acceptable to contract away the main verb of the sentence, for "We've a problem here." American English does not like to do that, even though it is grammatically valid.

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