1

Does

Had there been no support from others, I would not have asked him for help.

mean the speaker did ask for help or that they did not do so?

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  • In some contexts, it could be inferred that way, yes; in others, no. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 22:00
  • I appreciate you, Benjamin Harman, for your answer. In the story a person hypothetically says if he didn't find support, he would never ask him (another person) for help. Apparently, the sentence suggested tells the speaker did ask. Could you, please, re-phrase it to tell that the speaker didn't ask for help? Thank you Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 22:06
  • It seems this will not work as the third conditional, since it’s not in fact conditional. Rather, “Since no one had offered to help, neither did I.”
    – Xanne
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 1:44
  • You could say “If there had been support from others, I would have helped.” or “Had there been”, to invert.
    – Xanne
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 3:33
  • AFAIK, both the protasis as well as the apodosis are hypothetical in this context (this construction). However, beware that the apodosis could be real and positive in absolute terms. HTH.
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 11:41

1 Answer 1

1

I find the example to be a little lacking in context, and the semantics of the conditional seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but yes, the hypothetical conditional does seem to indicate that the speaker did ask for help.

You can read more on this type of conditional here.

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  • I appreciate you, Wehage, for your answer. We're a group of English teachers discussing type-3 conditional as we're writing a story. In the story a person hypothetically says if he didn't find support, he would never ask him (another person) for help. Apparently, the sentence suggested tells that the speaker did ask. Could you, please, re-phrase it to tell the speaker didn't ask for help? Thank you Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 22:03
  • We can use "comments" instead.
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 11:33
  • Thanks, @Kris, I'm still learning the forum etiquette. Should I avoid addressing a question if I do not have a definitive answer, and do not have commenting privileges?
    – Wehage
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 13:40
  • We need to work at gaining privileges. Patience pays. Good Luck, Wehage.
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 11:14

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