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I was reading a comment that was made on SO that sounded strange to me

[That feature] should've better support in [the] next version

My first reaction to this was that it needs to be "should have" but since "should've" is a contraction of "should have" I was wondering if there's a formal English rule about this type of syntax or am I just wrong?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, choster, Chenmunka, Mitch, Nathaniel Nov 20 '15 at 2:38

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  • @J.R. It certainly is similar but the crux of that question is different from mine. In that question the answer has to do with pronoun-verb but "should" isn't a pronoun. The answer also discusses ending sentences with contractions and this contraction is in the middle. – Dean MacGregor Nov 18 '15 at 19:47
  • The auxiliary "have" contracts, but the main verb "have" seems not to in American English (though it may be okay in British English) except perhaps sometimes before a negative word ("I've no idea"/"He's no idea"). – Greg Lee Nov 18 '15 at 19:48
  • @GregLee I'm not big on the terminology of English syntax rules but by example the sentence "that feature should've had better support" sounds just fine. In contrast, the sentence in question is referring to the future so maybe the rule has to do with that. – Dean MacGregor Nov 18 '15 at 19:51
  • Also related: Can you contract the main verb in a sentence? – choster Nov 18 '15 at 20:14
  • @DeanMacGregor, In your example "should've had better support", the "'ve" is from the auxiliary verb "have", which expresses the perfect aspect, while the "had" is the main verb. It doesn't matter whether it's future -- compare "will've had better support" versus *"will've better support". – Greg Lee Nov 18 '15 at 20:27

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