‘Must Of’ or ‘Must’ve’?

In general, I’m not the sort of person who corrects people unbidden, but every time I see a message with must of in it my pedant urges twitch, and I have to stop myself typing a Google-style “Did you mean must’ve?”

DowntonMust of is an incorrect way of saying must’ve or must have. The contraction is pronounced like must of, presumably causing the confusion.

It is extremely rare that must of will make sense together in a sentence e.g. ‘They must of course consider what is proper’. Commas would sort that right out, though.

They must’ve been scandalized when she married the chauffeur.

You must’ve mistaken a footman for a valet. How embarrassing.

I think you must’ve watched too much Downton.

Have you seen this happening? Comments and shares much appreciated!


Filed under Common Errors, Editing, Proofreading

7 responses to “‘Must Of’ or ‘Must’ve’?

  1. I love you already! (Welcome to Momentum!)
    This phrase happens to be a pet hate of mine. You must have known!
    There are others that I dislike as well, but I’m sure we’re already on the same page and I don’t need to tell you what they are.
    How about “Different to/different from”???


    • Thanks so much Nicki Edwards! ‘Different to/from’ is an interesting one. I think that’ll be next week’s post – thanks for the idea! Stay tuned for it!

      It sounds very much like we’re on the same page. I look forward to getting to know you and all the Momentum people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am a brand new Momentum author still getting to know everyone but I am really impressed so far. My experience has been fabulous.
        I look forward to reading your posts. What sorts of things will you be writing about?


      • Well congratulations! I look forward to reading your work. I’m not exactly sure yet – I’ll try and bring my experience as an editor to blogging about reading and writing in different ways. All suggestions are welcome too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it would be great to know what an editor does and what you look for when you read a book. What can authors do to improve their own editing skills. That would interest me.


  2. I’ll admit when I was in probably 6th grade I wrote “must have” as “must of,” (or should’ve or could’ve) before someone corrected my egregious error. I remember it so clearly: “It’s not OF. It’s HAVE.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s