Lately I’ve noticed several people using “I’ve not…” instead of “I haven’t” as the negative present perfect form (whether progressive or not), for example:
- I’ve not said anything about it.
- I’ve not been to Africa.
- I’ve not tried to contact him.
Both are correct forms, nothing wrong with using either one. But to me it sounds grating, so I decided to do a quick search and see what comes up on it. A few people on a forum I looked at claimed that “I’ve not” is heard more in British English than in the American variety. However another contributor looked at a linguistic corpus (collections of recorded and transcribed natural speech) of British English and another of American English and found a similar number of occurrences per million words in each. So I don’t yet have an answer to why I’ve suddenly noticed it being used more often here in Australia. Any ideas?