Re: better English
I see in a chat room for ESL learners that many people use "I've" or "I'm" when it's the main verb.
Are you going to visit your parents this weekend?
Have you ever visited the pyramids?
This is decidedly non-native -- at least, in the English I hear spoken around me. We contract only when it's an auxiliary verb. Yes, I'm going. Yes, I've been there.
It seems it applies with "have" serving the function of "must." I have to say would never be "I've to say." In fact, it would sound more like "I hafta say" in rapid speech.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.