I know the title might look confusing, so I would like to explain it in detail here.
As far as I know, we can use past perfect construction when referring to a situation that didn't happen in the past, which is a hypothetical situation.
- If you had told me earlier, I could have fixed it.
And you can use simple past when referring to what would happen if something happened, as a condition that might have actually happened in the past.
- If someone talked to me like this three years ago, I would punch him in the face.
(You would actually do that because that's how you always did three years ago)
Here I would like to ask whether the distinction I made is correct.
If he had needed someone to help him three years ago, he would have just asked.
(He didn't need anyone to help him three years ago)
If he needed someone to help him three years ago, he would just ask.
(There might have been occasions when he needed someone to help, and he most of the time just asked, or at least that's what would possibly happen if he needed some help three years ago)