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There was a question posted on Twitter:

Grammar-expert friends: Help needed! I couldn’t find conclusive answers via google so I’ll ask here: I’m writing some lyrics and I want to say “I’ve still (noun)” - for example, “I’ve still berries in the fridge” - is this grammatically correct? I know “I’ve still time” is common"

I wager it's not, because "still" is attributed to the noun. "I have still berries" vs "I still have berries". In the context given, it seems like it would be an auxiliary verb and not the main verb. Thus it would be a compound verb when used in a complete sentence. "I have still got berries" where the main verb is the past participle, "got".

So is it grammatical?

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    Song lyrics, like poems, get away with different grammatical rules than regular English (see: poetic license). Are you asking in the context of the song lyrics, or as a general English construction? – Ian MacDonald Sep 27 '18 at 20:44
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It is perfectly grammatical. Still is an adverb, which most often precedes the verb, but can sometimes follow it: He plays the piano still.

It's a little unusual in that position, and even more so in your example, because of the contracted verb: I don't think I would say I have still berries in the Fridge (Of course, I still have berries in the fridge is normal). But I see nothing wrong with I've still berries in the fridge.

  • Interesting. Can you explain how still attributes to the contracted have instead of being an adjective for the noun? I know an adverb can follow a verb, but given this context it feels like something is missing to make it complete. – Knight Yoshi Sep 28 '18 at 5:02
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    I've still water in the fridge would be fun to parse. – Mike Harris Sep 28 '18 at 16:58
  • @KnightYoshi: Mike Harris's humourous comment shows that it could be an adjective preceding the noun. So it's formally ambiguous. But in my view, it's the familiarity of the phrase "still water" which makes that meaning probable. In the absence of a context in which "still berries" was meaningful, I think the adverbial sense would be more likely. Note that as an adjective, still does not have the sense of the adverb "continuing up to the present". – Colin Fine Sep 28 '18 at 17:41

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