A Question On Grammar?

Question:I saw a sentence in a book: "We've such difficult problems that no one would like to solve". Well, as far as I know,we cannot abbreviate "we have" to "we've" if the "have" serves as notional verb(also called lexical verb) in a sentence. What do you think?

The verb 'Have' can be the Main Or Lexical Verb.
Eg. I have a dozen eggs to sell.

In this case, it can't be written as 'I've a dozen eggs to sell.'

But 'have' can be used as Modal Auxiliaries.


They have solved many problems.
This can be written as

They've solved many problems' using the abbreviated form of 'have'.

But these days, we don't follow this rule strictly & only Purists frown upon this usage.

That means, it is more or less accepted even in the case of using 've' for 'have' as the main, lexical Verb.

Abbreviating 'have' as 've has become too widely accepted irrespective of whether the verb 'have' is lexical or modal auxiliary.

Hope this helps.
I think it's okay to do that.
Why not? The guy's an author so he can probably create whatever contractions he wants. It could be a dialect/old english type of thing too.

I wouldn't worry about it too much...
I think it's ok
Well, I can only comment on what seems to happen in American English. We tend to contract the auxiliary "have," but not the lexical verb. That is, we would tend to rephrase your sentence, "We have such.". This is not, I would say, a strict, well-known rule, but is more a language custom.

The sentence is awkward in other ways, however. It seems that the word "that" is doing double duty, for one thing. It is completing the idea "such..that" in the first part, but it is also being used to introduce an adjective clause describing the problems. This doesn't work for me, and I would also want to insert the word "them" after solve.

I don't much like the phrase "would like" either, as it seems to imply people have the ability to solve the problems but not the interest...a rather strange set of affairs.

People from other countries might have a different sense of things, but I hope this helps.
I've seen it used this way many times; it's not common usage in the U.S., but I know many British folks who use this quite often, lexical verb or not. I don't ever recall hearing a rule on not contracting a lexical verb. That doesn't mean there isn't one; it just means it's not one that I have heard.
Don't doubt Doubting Tom -- he's right! The verb 'have' has antiquated usage rules which nobody follows any more. Also consider the nursery rhyme: 'baa baa black sheep have you any wool?' This is the old usage. Nowadays we would say 'do you have any wool' (of course that wouldn't fit the music -- too many syllables!) But old English did not use 'do' when making a question/negative where 'have' is the lexical verb. Consider these: Do you have a pen?' (versus 'have you a pen' -- the old way) and 'I haven't a pen' (old) versus 'I don't have a pen' (new). You will still find learners of English from some countries using the old way (because they have outdated text books) and it can be quite hard to convince them that 'do you have a pen?' is in fact a correct sentence.

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