Questions tagged [conditional-perfect]

Questions about compound verbs constructed using one of “would”, “should”, or “could” along with “have” and a past participle. For example: “I would have called her earlier if only I had known she wanted to go.”

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3rd conditional “if you could have done”

"What university or degree subject would you have chosen if you could have done absolutely anything?" Is this question grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be "If you had a chance to do.....
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Is “Not that we would have expected anything else, of course” sound?

In the GSMArena article Xiaomi denies any ties to the Chinese military in response to being blacklisted by the US, "would have" is used: Today Xiaomi has issued the following statement on ...
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Subjunctive Mood with the Type 3 Conditional or “could with the perfect infinitive” expressing ability, theoretical possibility, etc. in the past

From NBC news’s ‘Breakthrough finding’ reveals why certain Covid-19 patients die: "Before Covid, their condition was silent," Bastard said. "Most of them hadn't gotten sick before.&...
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Conditional perfect [duplicate]

I've been noticing that more and more Americans form the conditional perfect wrong. Instead of saying:'would have thrown' (conditional followed by have + past participle = perfect infinitive) they say ...
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3answers
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Use of conditional sentences

I'm wondering what is the correct way to formulate the following sentence: If the trekkers had chosen a shorter route, they would have been in trouble now, but fortunately they didn't. or ...
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1answer
48 views

Order of the “had” clause in conditional perfect

I know that I can use "had" to construct a conditional perfect: Had it not rained yesterday, we would have finished painting the walls. But is it grammatically correct to reverse the order of the ...
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“would have been” without if-part but with “in retrospect”

I struggle with the following sentence: In retrospect, it would have been an interesting experience. The it refers to something in the sentence before: I have never ascended Mount Everest ...
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43 views

Subject–verb inversion in a conditional’s protasis: does that mean it happened or not?

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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Why couldn't I <have killed vs. kill> that dragon when I found him in the woods?

Here's the first paragraph of the plot of the movie 'How to Train Your Dragon' in Wikipedia: The Viking village of Berk, located on a remote island, is attacked frequently by dragons, which take ...
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339 views

Past Hypothesis vs Past Condition

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 ...
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1answer
89 views

Would be or would have been

I'm thinking both of the following are correct but seems like I'm mistaken. If we had started studying Spanish three years ago, we would be much more fluent in it now. If we had started ...
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115 views

What’s the difference between using “would ᴠᴇʀʙ” and “would have ᴠᴇʀʙᴇᴅ” in the “then” part of conditionals?

Is there any difference between: If I were you, I would work harder. If I were you, I would have worked harder. And can we use was rather than were in both sentences?
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A Strange Conditional: “I couldn’t have talked to her that day if I never talked to her again”

In The Great Gatsby, thus pens Fitzgerald: ‘However—I want to see you.’ ‘I want to see you too.’ ‘Suppose I don’t go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?’ ‘No—I don’t think this ...
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644 views

Can we substitute “would have had” with “have” without altering the meaning?

The following sentence seems needlessly cumbersome. Can we rewrite it without changing its meaning? But what I will say is that at the start of the season I'd have said they would have had ...
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a conditional sentence with “had + past participle” in both the apodosis and the protasis

In older texts one finds this construction, which one may be tempted to call the past conditional second form (after the example of le conditionnel passé deuxième forme): If you had lied to me, I ...
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12k views

Had it not been vs If it were not for

I've just seen the following sentence on a band's biography: Had it not been for a studio theft, the band might never have made that song. Then I was wondering if I can change this sentence to: ...
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“How could I” and “how could I have” in rhetorical questions

I have a question about using could and could have in rhetorical questions. I was watching a video where a very old man who was talking to a priest about his childhood asked the priest, “How could I ...
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Usage of Would or Would Have with Prophesied Event

I am writing subtitles for a rare, old foreign movie (in Italian) for my English speaking friends. I have a doubt. What is the correct form among the following, and can you help me understand why? He ...
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'Could have' vs. 'Would have been able to' in a Type-III Conditional

This type-III conditional sentence, “I could not have played volleyball when I was an elementary school student if I had been short.” should be (I think) changed to: “I would not have been ...
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If I were you vs. If I had been you

When you describe a hypothetical situation in the past, which is correct? (1) If I were you, I would have done that. (2) If I had been you, I would have done that. Personally, I've heard native ...
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628 views

I think you would have been really proud

The Lego Batman Movie has this line by Batman: Hey Mom, hey Dad, I saved the city again today. I think you would have been really proud. Here, Batman is speaking to his mom and dad in his family ...
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227 views

Cleft sentence with subjunctive

Which of the two is more correct and why? What I'd really appreciate right now is that everybody would stop complaining about it. What I'd really appreciate right now is that everybody stopped ...
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Mixed conditional and sequence of events

I want to express the opinion that if a man somehow travelled in time from 2006 to 2016 he would find a lot of new stuff. I remember an episode of South Park called "Prehistoric Ice Man" and want to ...
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5k views

I wish … would

In a grammar book I read that I wish + would is mostly used in negative sentences. My question now is if those expressions are both correct or there is a mistake: I wish she had a car. I wish she ...
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1answer
118 views

What time would it pass? or What time would it have passed?

The other day I missed my bus, and I kept wondering what time would it have passed. That's the thing, what's the correct way to say it? I have 3 options. I would really appreciate it, if you could ...
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Is “Unless you had told me about Sue's hair, I wouldn't have noticed it” correct and natural-sounding?

I find it natural to say "If you hadn't told me about Sue's hair, I wouldn't have noticed it", but when if-not is substituted with unless in this specific sentence it sounds weird. I've found a ...
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Meaning of “Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell…” by Robert Scott

It is an excerpt from Capt. Robert Falcon Scott letter "To: my widow" which he wrote while dying in Antarctic: "Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and ...
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3answers
648 views

Is this type of conditional sentence used by native speakers?

I was wondering if any native speaker uses the following type of conditional sentence: If my mother-in-law was coming tomorrow, I would have spent all day cleaning the house. The sentence ...
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Conditionals with past perfect

Can I use past perfect in conditional sentence? Is this phrase correct? She could have helped him would she had known something about first aid. If this is a complicated situation, how you feel ...
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“hadn't have killed” vs “hadn't killed”

Can someone help? "Dave killed Peter." Dave asked Susan, "why was Peter here?" Susan said, "Maybe he would have told you if you hadn't have killed him." Would there have been any difference if she ...
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'It would have been better if' grammatical issue [closed]

I am confused what is the correct usage of this It would have been better if government banned the production of firecrackers It would have been better if government had banned the production of ...
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2answers
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Right way to use “Cannot but help”

A relatively straightforward use of "cannot but help" is along the lines of When you use ... you cannot but help notice... No issues there. However, I would like to say If you have used ... (...
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use of would in statements

what is the difference between "I would go to the cinema but I have no money" and "I would have gone to the cinema but I had no money" I know that one is present tense and one is past perfect but ...
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4answers
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would come vs. would have come?

Which is the difference between the following constructions? He told me that he would come. (would + base form = present conditional) He told me that he would have come. (would + have + past part. = ...
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conditional form

Here is what an English native said: If he felt this seven years ago, we would not have had a problem. I think the correct version should be: If he had felt this seven years ago, we would not ...
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A Question on Shakespeare's use of conditionals [duplicate]

The following is a big question, but I am really confused by the use of conditional in this Shakespearean excerpt. From The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene I: 142 I am agreed; and would I had ...
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“I would give you all the help you needed” vs. “would need” vs. “need”

If you were ever in trouble, I would give you all the help you needed. Can you explain the tense choice for the bolded verb? How about "all the help you would need" or "all the help you need"?
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640 views

She may have reasoned that it 'would have been' against her own economic self interest

She may have reasoned that it would have been against her own economic self interest to disclose the worst case scenario Source My question is: In this sentence why are we using "would have been" ...
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Unless in third conditional sentences

"Jane wouldn't have found a job unless she had gone to London" is a natural-sounding sentence and has two different meanings, depending on whether Jane really did move to London or not: (1) "Jane ...
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Difference between “would have + past participle” and “would + bare infinitive” in the main clause of a past subjunctive sentence

I'm wondering about the difference in meaning, if any, between the two sentences in each of the following examples. Example 1. a. If he was a serious leader, tackling the debt would have been a ...
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Can a remote conditional have “might” in the protasis?

In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum, the authors write: A remote conditional must have a modal auxiliary as the apodosis verb (usually would, should, could, ...
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Conditionals (Past Tense)

In terms of conditional sentences, is it correct to say: if you knew why I WAS here, then I wouldn't need to be here. or If you knew why I WERE here, then I wouldn't need to be here. Which type of ...
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799 views

Grammar: French conditionnel in English?

Could anybody help me here, please? I’d like to know the grammatical form of the verb “can" in the following examples: 18y old Tim is asked by a relative what he’s going to do with his life. ...
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318 views

2nd Condition or mixing 2nd and 3rd for assumption time in the past

Which of the two following sentences would be better to use for a situation where I regret that I did not do something in the past? If it were yesterday, I would buy the car. If it were yesterday, I ...
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“I was to go to America at the end of the week. It would be the first time I had flown to America.” Is the second sentence correct?

I am using exactly the same sentence as the one used in a question already posted by someone else to ask whether one should not say and write "It will be the first time I fly to America." rather than "...
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14k views

“I would like to have come” vs “I would have liked to come”

I wonder why it is correct to say: I would like to have come but I was not informed. Wouldn't it be better to say: I would have liked to come? (I found many examples on Google). Is there a ...
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In “Who would have thought he could do it!”, does “could” mean “was able to” or “would be able to”?

In the sentence "Who would have thought he could do it!" Does "could do" mean "was able to do" or "would be able to do"?
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Correct usage of 'but for'?

Does 'but for' mean: 'If we had X (but we didn't), Y would have been the consequence'? Or can it also mean; because we had X, as a result Y happened? Some different examples of but for: (Case 1) ...
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Would have done

Please read the following passage. I will post my question at the end of it. Here is the passage: At home I locked myself in. Jason, my lawyer and lyn sent texts simultaneously at the point the ...
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2answers
605 views

Mixed Conditionals

This question is about conditionals If I had money, I would give it you conditional 2 (present tense) If I had money, I would have given it to you conditional 3 (Past tense) But I've come ...