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I wrote:

it would never have been possible if i didn't have interest in the least bit

but a friend of mine told it is wrong and should be:

it would never have been possible if i had not had interest in the least bit

I believe i have written it right.

Can anyone confirm please?

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7  
A word of general advice if I may. If you don't capitalize "I", or the first word in a sentence, or forget a period at the end, then picking the correct conditional form will be the least of your worries. And I am not trying to be snarky, that's how it really is. Not paying attention to trivial things immediately puts your writing into a register where more advanced la-dee-da stuff simply does not matter. –  RegDwigнt May 5 '12 at 11:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The first suggests that whatever interest you had at the time, you still have. The second suggests that you had the interest at the time, but it says nothing about whether or not you continue to have it.

In any case, both need re-writing as:

It would never have been possible if I didn't have some interest.

It would never have been possible if I had not had some interest.

The reason for changing the least bit to some is that the least bit is normally found in negative contexts, such as I didn’t have the least bit of interest in it.

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1  
Yeah probably my friend did not understand the very meaning of it as to which context it was used in :) –  Sarfraz May 5 '12 at 12:07
    
"Least bit" could, of course, be appropriate if this was a sentence from a mathematical or computer science-oriented document and the "least bit" being referenced was in a number or a byte. –  Jennifer Davis May 5 '12 at 22:15

Both are correct!

It completely depends on the type of grammar used in the rest of the text. That single sentence doesn't give fair idea on which usage should have been more appropriate.

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It is an etiquette and a moral responsibility to leave a comment explaining the reason for any down-vote. –  Fr0zenFyr May 5 '12 at 15:28
1  
I guess you are right, but from experience I can tell that it rarely happens. By the way, it was not me who downvoted your reply. –  Paola May 5 '12 at 16:17

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