Questions about compound verbs constructed using one of “would”, “should”, or “could” along with “have” and a past participle. For example: “I would have called her earlier if only I had known she wanted to go.”

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
50 views

Unless in third conditional sentences

"Jane wouldn't have found a job unless she had gone to London" is a natural-sounding sentence and has two different meanings, depending on whether Jane really did move to London or not: (1) "Jane ...
4
votes
3answers
152 views

Difference between “would have + past participle” and “would + bare infinitive” in the main clause of a past subjunctive sentence

I'm wondering about the difference in meaning, if any, between the two sentences in each of the following examples. Example 1. a. If he was a serious leader, tackling the debt would have been a ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Can a remote conditional have “might” in the protasis?

In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum, the authors write: A remote conditional must have a modal auxiliary as the apodosis verb (usually would, should, could, ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Conditionals (Past Tense)

In terms of conditional sentences, is it correct to say: if you knew why I WAS here, then I wouldn't need to be here. or If you knew why I WERE here, then I wouldn't need to be here. Which ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Grammar: French conditionnel in English?

Could anybody help me here, please? I’d like to know the grammatical form of the verb “can" in the following examples: 18y old Tim is asked by a relative what he’s going to do with his life. ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

2nd Condition or mixing 2nd and 3rd for assumption time in the past

Which of the two following sentences would be better to use for a situation where I regret that I did not do something in the past? If it were yesterday, I would buy the car. If it were yesterday, I ...
1
vote
3answers
122 views

“I was to go to America at the end of the week. It would be the first time I had flown to America.” Is the second sentence correct?

I am using exactly the same sentence as the one used in a question already posted by someone else to ask whether one should not say and write "It will be the first time I fly to America." rather than ...
2
votes
2answers
679 views

Correct usage of 'but for'?

Does 'but for' mean: 'If we had X (but we didn't), Y would have been the consequence'? Or can it also mean; because we had X, as a result Y happened? Some different examples of but for: (Case 1) ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

Mixed Conditionals

This question is about conditionals If I had money, I would give it you conditional 2 (present tense) If I had money, I would have given it to you conditional 3 (Past tense) But I've ...
1
vote
1answer
648 views

Are “could I have been able to cope with” and "could I have coped with” the same?

I am a bit confused with the formation of this sentence. My lines are: What if I were a girl? Would I have been able to cope with the ordeal that women and girls live through every day? But I ...
-2
votes
2answers
173 views

Can I use the 3rd conditional that way? [closed]

Is the sentence given below grammatically correct? Had you born two days later and it would have been difficult to celebrate your birthdays. Is it the only option to use the third conditional to ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Can we use should /would and /could in Future perfect tense

I would have finished my home work by evening . He should have been more careful. Can these be used as future perfect tense ?
-1
votes
1answer
337 views

“Would remain” vs. “would have remained”

What's the difference in meaning between the following two sentences? He thought that he would remain young. He thought that he would have remained young.
2
votes
1answer
184 views

very specific tense aspect configuration

I recently tried to translate a German sentence to English and I failed. I won't give you the German version but rather the background configuration of it. Two people talk about an event that has ...
0
votes
2answers
957 views

Meaning and sentence structure of “Why would we have thought otherwise?”

Here is a snippet from an article on CNN And of course the fiscal cliff turned out to be a dud. Why would we have thought otherwise? It somehow makes perfect sense that Washington created its own ...
3
votes
5answers
205 views

Right tense for conditional event in nondescript time?

What is the right tense to describe an event that might have occured, be occuring or occur in the future, if (not) for something that happened in the past? Unike, in the examples, which anchor the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Different conditional clauses — “if you saw”, “if you were to see”, “if you had seen”

Given the following sentences, what is the difference between the conditional clauses in them? If you saw a lion in a thick forest, what would you do? If you were to see a lion in a thick ...
2
votes
2answers
589 views

Past perfect sentence in “I would have killed the snake if I had hit him…”

Is the following a correct past perfect sentence? I would have killed the snake if I had hit him hard with a stick.
0
votes
1answer
208 views

“Would have” in the following

Reading a J.K Rowling book, I came across the following: It's only dying a bit later than I would have, because I am never going to the dark side!  Is the would have part compete here or ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

Wouldn't have been alone

Listening to the BBC one of the journalists made the following utterance when discussing a historic figure, "The Khan". A: For merchants the crucial issue was protection when traveling. B: I ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Usage of “would have been”

In the movie "A Walk to remember" Jimmie's father says the following to his son-in-law who got into medical school. Actually Jimmie is dead when he says, We are proud of you, son. Jimmie would ...
1
vote
2answers
626 views

would have and would in non conditional statements

Can we use both would have and would in non conditional past statements? For example: Last year during the summer, I would go home on weekends. past habitual Last year during the summer, I ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

past perfect + would have + ed-participle / past simple + would + infinitive

Could you clarify difference between sentences: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses If I asked people what they wanted, they would say faster horses ...
1
vote
4answers
701 views

What to use for hypothetically completed future actions

I was talking to a friend where I had to make a hypothetical statement about an activity that was completed in the future. So I came up with the following statements. If he continued college, he ...
1
vote
1answer
589 views

Third conditional would have and would

I read the following on a website and I was wondering if it was okay? Because the books only talk about the standard three forms. What would it mean if we changed the second part of the statement to ...
0
votes
3answers
406 views

Tense for second sentence in conditional statements

I run into the following sitatution: If he had bothered Mike, he would have bothered him back so much that he would have forgotten about bothering anyone in his life again. Is 'would have' the ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

The third conditional for “if I could”

What is the third conditional for "if I could"? For example, we say: If I had studied hard, I would have passed the exam. How about this: If I could study, I would have passed the exam.[Is ...
3
votes
1answer
69k views

“have been” versus “had been” in questions [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? "I can tell that he's not English, but I wouldn't had been able to tell that he's french if you didn't ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

“If I knew you're coming I wouldn't have come”

Is the statement If I knew you're coming I wouldn't have come correct? Should we use If I had known you're coming, I wouldn't have come instead? Please consider American-British ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Use of “should have” in conditional sentences

In Return of the Soldier (1918) I came across what appears to be a conditional sentence: I never should have got this telegram if me and my husband hadn't been down there last September and told ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

“I would have never said” vs. “I would never say”

I know a lot of questions have been asked about would or would have but I haven't found any answers that help me understand this three-party conversation, with C possibly a native speaker: A: How ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

What is the tense of “I would have been happy to…”?

I would have been happy to let you use the money, if you would give me a date to leave. Is this a past present tense? I need to explain this statement I made, correctly.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

“Will have” vs. “Would have”

By the end of the year, I would have attended this school for five years. Of course, the "most" correct way of writing this would be: By the end of the year, I will have attended this school ...
3
votes
4answers
868 views

Tenses for two clauses joined by “if only”

Our school had won the match if only we have concentrated. Our school would have won the match if only we would have concentrated. Our school would win the match if only we had concentrated. ...
6
votes
3answers
40k views

When should I use “Would”, “Would have”, “Will”, and “Will have”?

I hope someone, once and for all, can clarify (with examples) the difference in usage of will vs. would vs. would have vs. will have.
9
votes
4answers
860 views

“Would have” in conditional clauses

I have been taught to use the if I had form in conditional clauses referring to the past: If the president had asked me, I would have told him the same thing. As far as I can tell though, the ...