I have a friend from a foreign country who for years has used "I've" in a way that sounds funny to me. He often writes sentences like "I've an exam tomorrow." Is he correct in this usage?

I have always used "I've" but only when speaking in the past. For example: "I've never seen someone like that." Basically, I don't use "have" as the lone verb in the sentence. Thanks!

  • I'll not make this an answer, as I've not the sources to back it up, but in my experience as a native AmE speaker, that type of contraction seems British to me, or at least non-AmE. You'll find similar examples in the past tense and with "will," as I've noted. The usage is certainly correct; I believe it's just a dialectal preference, but that's only an observational guess. – Justin Greer Oct 15 '14 at 14:21
  • Apparently this has already been asked: Is it appropriate to use short form of "have" ('ve) when it means possession? – Justin Greer Oct 15 '14 at 14:23
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    So you would never say "I've got ten dollars in my pocket"? (I know that's not grammatical (for different reasons than this question talks about), but it's common). – Flimzy Oct 15 '14 at 15:06
  • The title of your question is imprecise. What do you mean by "I've by itself"? "I've a new car", "I've an exam coming up" - it is not "by itself", it sits in a sentence and certainly has words around it !!! – Blessed Geek Oct 15 '14 at 15:13
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    @BlessedGeek: Are you aware that whole generations in Europe have learned to use got in every example sentence you just mentioned? Because according to our teachers, that was "correct English". There are also plenty of Americans who will use got in those sentences, and leaving it out will sounds positively outlandish to many speakers, so I believe the question is certainly warranted, notwithstanding your specific usage. – oerkelens Oct 15 '14 at 15:31

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