Can someone please explain this “would have” + verb construction in this sentence?

“Why did you wait outside? I would’ve text you when I got here”

I’m a little confused. Shouldn’t it be “I would’ve texted”?

Also, why is it “got here” not “get here”?

  • 1
    Could you tell us where you got the text from? You are right that it should be 'I would've texted...' – marcellothearcane Dec 27 '17 at 17:24
  • This is seemingly a request to help proofread someone else's text message. This is a thing that we do not do. – MetaEd Dec 27 '17 at 20:22

Shouldn’t it be “I would’ve texted”?

Yes, but the use of text as its own past participle (apparently on the model of verbs like cost and set) is not unheard-of.

Also, why is it “got here” not “get here”?

English has a "sequence of tenses" rule whereby, when a main clause uses a past-time form (in this case would’ve), its subordinate clauses generally use past-tense forms as well.


Yes, "texted" would be correct.

The second sentence is in the subjunctive, which uses the same form as the indicative. It is talking about things that the writer suggests would have happened if something else had happened. In this case, presumably they expected you to go inside instead of waiting for them outside, and they are saying they would have texted you if and when they arrived and did not see you outside.

But that did not happen - the writer is writing about what he suggests would have happened in other hypothetical circumstances, which is what the subjunctive forms indicate.

  • Re: "The second sentence is in the subjunctive": This is not correct. Consider "I would have texted you when he was/*were here": only the indicative is possible. – ruakh Dec 28 '17 at 7:30

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