1

Let's say in this scenario:

Someone asked me for help to do certain thing. I gave a negative response. That person then asked for the reason. I responded with:

"Had you had asked me nicely ...."

What I meant to say was "If you had/have asked me nicely ..."

Question: Does the former have the same meaning as the later?

Edit: Just to make sure there are not any differences: My response was a statement, not a question to that person.

  • You must say: "Had you asked me nicely ...", without the second *had. It has the same meaning as "If you had asked me nicely ...". In Present-day English this inversion is only permitted with past-form auxiliaries and modals, and in practice is largely restricted to had, were and should. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 7 '14 at 13:55
  • @StoneyB: great explanation. – EmilyJ Mar 9 '14 at 1:16
3

"Had you had asked me nicely ...."

is incorrect. It should be EITHER:

If you had asked me nicely...

OR

Had you asked me nicely...

which both mean the same thing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.