Home / English Lessons / Pronunciation of Contracted Verbs: Would + not + have = wouldn’t have | Part 3 | English Pronunciation Lesson

Pronunciation of Contracted Verbs: Would + not + have = wouldn’t have | Part 3 | English Pronunciation Lesson

<< continued from Part 2: would + have = “would’ve”

This lesson is Part 3 in the series on Pronouncing Verb Contractions in English:

Listen to the audio while reading the lesson:

(Sorry if the sound quality is not as good on this recording; I was on vacation when I recorded this, and I didn’t have my good microphone with me! -Larissa )

Negative | “Wouldn’t have” [Wʊdnɪnəv]

When native English speakers negate the contracted verb “would’ve”, they also de-stress the “not” (which is usually a stressed content word) and subtly pronounce a [n] sound between the “would” and the [əv].

would + not + have –> *”wouldn’t’ve” –> [Wʊnnəv]

(*Note: When we write “wouldn’t have”, we do not contract the spelling of “have”)

How to Say “Wouldn’t have” in Everyday English

  1. “Would” + “not” –> “wouldn’t” [Wʊ dɪnt]
  2. “Wouldn’t” + “have” –> [Wʊ dɪnt hæv]
  3. “Wouldn’t have” –>  [Wʊ dɪnt tæv] (I deleted the [h] in “have” due to h-deletion and connected the consonant + vowel in connected speech)
  4. De-stress the vowel [æ] in “have” –> [əv] = [Wʊ dɪnt təv]
  5. Delete the consonant [t] at the end of “wouldn’t” for more efficiency and music. [Wʊ dɪntəv] –> [Wʊ dɪnəv]
  6. We soften and almost delete the [d] sound in “wouldn’t –> [Wʊdɪnəv] = [Wʊdɪnəv]

Now, can you see why English is sometimes difficult to understand?

It’s not that native English speakers speak fast, but we delete sounds and connect our words to transform the speech. This means that spoken English is practically a different language than written English. Learn and practice these rules of pronunciation to improve your listening and comprehension skills.

Let’s practice.

Listen and Repeat

  • “I wouldn’t have gone if you had just told me to stay home.”
  • “If I had known you were fluent in English, I wouldn’t have practiced French with you!”
  • “She wouldn’t have studied so hard had she known the test was going to be so easy!” (“going to –> “gonna“)
  • “I wouldn’t have earned so much money if I hadn’t worked so hard.”

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