Could you help me, please?

A question for the native speakers (desired) of British English or American English.

Which variant is correct and why? Or it's possible to use either of them)?

If only had I known it! If only I had known it!

  • 1
    The second one is correct; the first one isn't, because subject-auxiliary inversion (had I instead of I had) is not allowed here. It needs something specific in the context -- a fronted adverb, for instance -- in order to happen, and there's none here. – John Lawler Mar 25 '19 at 19:15
  • Thank you very much! – Daisy Jul 9 at 8:07

In the US I most frequently hear "If only I had known"; when I was home in Britain I also heard a variant construction: "Had I but known" which I've almost never heard here in the US.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you very much! – Daisy Jul 9 at 8:07

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