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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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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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1answer
142 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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1answer
4k 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: ...
3
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1answer
425 views

“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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2answers
51 views

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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2k views

'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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2answers
17k views

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 ...
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1answer
396 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 ...
2
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1answer
172 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 ...
0
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1answer
95 views

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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1answer
102 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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2answers
862 views

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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2answers
2k views

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
521 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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1answer
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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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5answers
958 views

“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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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
351 views

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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2answers
461 views

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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2answers
101 views

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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0answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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6answers
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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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1answer
479 views

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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1answer
360 views

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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1answer
780 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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1answer
296 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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3answers
613 views

“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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1answer
10k 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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1answer
2k views

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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5answers
31k views

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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3answers
32k views

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
531 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Are “could I have been able to cope with” and "could I have coped with” the same?

I am a bit confused with the formation of this sentence. My lines are: What if I were a girl? Would I have been able to cope with the ordeal that women and girls live through every day? But I am ...
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2answers
280 views

Can I use the 3rd conditional that way? [closed]

Is the sentence given below grammatically correct? Had you born two days later and it would have been difficult to celebrate your birthdays. Is it the only option to use the third conditional to ...
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2answers
34k views

Can we use should /would and /could in Future perfect tense

I would have finished my home work by evening . He should have been more careful. Can these be used as future perfect tense ?
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1answer
2k views

“Would remain” vs. “would have remained”

What's the difference in meaning between the following two sentences? He thought that he would remain young. He thought that he would have remained young.
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1answer
376 views

“He was so desperate that he would have given anything” vs. “that he did give anything”

A: I heard he promised to buy her anything she wants. B: Right. He was so desperate that he would have given anything to win her over. In sentence B, instead of "would have given," is "did give" ...
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1answer
481 views

very specific tense aspect configuration

I recently tried to translate a German sentence to English and I failed. I won't give you the German version but rather the background configuration of it. Two people talk about an event that has ...
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2answers
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Meaning and sentence structure of “Why would we have thought otherwise?”

Here is a snippet from an article on CNN And of course the fiscal cliff turned out to be a dud. Why would we have thought otherwise? It somehow makes perfect sense that Washington created its own ...
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5answers
296 views

Right tense for conditional event in nondescript time?

What is the right tense to describe an event that might have occured, be occuring or occur in the future, if (not) for something that happened in the past? Unike, in the examples, which anchor the ...
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3answers
12k views

Different conditional clauses — “if you saw”, “if you were to see”, “if you had seen”

Given the following sentences, what is the difference between the conditional clauses in them? If you saw a lion in a thick forest, what would you do? If you were to see a lion in a thick ...
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2answers
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Past perfect sentence in “I would have killed the snake if I had hit him…”

Is the following a correct past perfect sentence? I would have killed the snake if I had hit him hard with a stick.
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453 views

“Would have” in the following

Reading a J.K Rowling book, I came across the following: It's only dying a bit later than I would have, because I am never going to the dark side!  Is the would have part compete here or does ...
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5answers
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Wouldn't have been alone

Listening to the BBC one of the journalists made the following utterance when discussing a historic figure, "The Khan". A: For merchants the crucial issue was protection when traveling. B: I ...
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2answers
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Usage of “would have been”

In the movie "A Walk to remember" Jimmie's father says the following to his son-in-law who got into medical school. Actually Jimmie is dead when he says, We are proud of you, son. Jimmie would ...