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Is it correct to say......

If I had have known that, I would have .............
If you had have told me then I ...........

OR is it correct to say.....

If I would have known that, I would have .............
If you would have told me then I ...........

It would be very helpful if someone could help me out here.....thanks.

T
New Member01
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Hello Tonyole

1. If I had have known that, I would have .............

Not correct. You should say:

'If I had known that, I would have...'

2. If you had have told me then I ...........

Not correct. You should say:

'If you had told me, then I (would have)...'

3. If I would have known that, I would have .............

Not correct, sadly. Use corrected version of #1.

4. If you would have told me then I ...........

Sorry! not correct...Use corrected version of #2.

MrP
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Yes Mr P, but doesn't something like "If I'd've known that" sound OK when spoken?
Junior Member96
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Hello Woodcutter

It's true that formations such as 'if I'd've known that' (= 'if I would have known that') are quite common, especially in the spoken language.

However, it's still generally considered incorrect to use 'would have' directly after 'if'. (The correct version in this case is 'if I had known that'.)

Interestingly, a couple of centuries ago, 'had' was commonly used instead of 'would have' in the 2nd clause of an 'if' statement, e.g.

'If I had known that, I had written earlier.'

This 'had' in the 2nd clause has now been replaced by 'would have' ('if I had known that, I would have written earlier').

But as your example shows, the reverse is starting to happen in the 1st clause, and people are replacing the 'had' with 'would have'.

Very strange.

MrP
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However, it's still generally considered incorrect to use 'would have' directly after 'if'. (The correct version in this case is 'if I had known that'.)

JTT: It may be considered incorrect bu that doesn't make it so. is used volitionally after and it is also used in other emotive senses. There is never any reason offered for why it's incorrect.

works, so grammatically there's nothing wrong with .

I'm really bagged now, long, long drive. Catch ya later.
Regular Member849
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Hello JTT

1. 'If I had known it was incorrect, I would have told you.'

Here:
a) the 'had' shows that the unreal 'knowing' precedes the conditional 'telling' ('I had' precedes 'I have');
b) the 1st clause is the condition of the 2nd clause.

2. 'If I'd've known it was incorrect, I would have told you' (= 'If I would have known...').

Here:
a) nothing in the tenses indicates temporal sequence, as both tenses are the same;
b) the 1st clause has no condition. (You can't have a conditional tense without a condition, implicit or otherwise.)

Whereas:

3. 'If I could have helped you, I would have done'

can be rephrased as 'If I had been able to help you', which shows that 'could' here signifies capability, rather than conditionality.

#3 therefore follows the pattern of #1: it both provides a condition for the 2nd clause (the ability to help) and respects temporal sequence (the unreal 'having been able' precedes the conditional 'helping').

MrP
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Hello JTT

Hello, Mr Pedantic. May I call you Mr P?

{Please don't ever take my direct manner in these discussions as any type of personal attack. I only want to address the facts. If I believe you or anyone to be in err, I'll plainly say so and I hope you and others will do the same for me. And point out why too please.}

Mr P: 1. 'If I had known it was incorrect, I would have told you.'

Here:
a) the 'had' shows that the unreal 'knowing' precedes the conditional 'telling' ('I had' precedes 'I have');

b) the 1st clause is the condition of the 2nd clause.

JTT: The doesn't do that, Mr P. In any conditional, the condition must be set before potential result can occur/could have occurred. That's all that's happened here.

There are also other structures that show conditionality.

is a simple statement of fact.

Differing scenarios, resulting in different modal verb choices, which is just what modals do, add emotions to verbs, allow us,

If I could have discovered it was incorrect, I would have told you.

so it's then possible to get,

If I would have been able to discover it was incorrect, I would have told you.

It's more emotive and moreover, it's perfectly grammatical. There's no reason that it can't be used, in some circumstances. There are semantic reasons that exclude its use in all situations but this happens with all modals. There are no grammatical reasons for it to be excluded.

MrP: 2. 'If I'd've known it was incorrect, I would have told you' (= 'If I would have known...').

Here:
a) nothing in the tenses indicates temporal sequence, as both tenses are the same;

JTT: I have to say that common sense tells us which comes first, as I've mentioned above. I must add a caution. I believe you're confusing the 'rule' dealing with the past perfect setting which action precedes the other. Such is not the case here. These are all conditionals.

b) the 1st clause has no condition. (You can't have a conditional tense without a condition, implicit or otherwise.)

JTT: There is no grammatical reason to suggest that 2 must mean . I believe it to be an intensifier as we also hear it, even in relatively formal situations as,

"Had I have known it was ... " OR "If I had've known it was ... "

{I don't think something this complicated will be solved in one go}

++++

Whereas:

3. 'If I could have helped you, I would have done'

can be rephrased as 'If I had been able to help you', which shows that 'could' here signifies capability, rather than conditionality.

JTT: Different modal meanings don't stop a conditional from expressing conditionality. The modal meaning of could be possibility as it could also be capability. Context would determine.

3. 'If I could have helped you, I would have done Emotion: football.' = Given/Under the condition that I could have helped you, ..."

Further, 3 could have been stated as,

3. 'If I would have been able to help you, I would have done Emotion: football'.

here, can also mean possibility or capability.

Mr P: #3 therefore follows the pattern of #1: it both provides a condition for the 2nd clause (the ability to help) and respects temporal sequence (the unreal 'having been able' precedes the conditional 'helping').

JTT: As I've shown above, Mr P, this isn't a issue.
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Hello, Mr Pedantic. May I call you Mr P?

Of course you may, JTT.
{Please don't ever take my direct manner in these discussions as any type of personal attack. I only want to address the facts. If I believe you or anyone to be in err, I'll plainly say so and I hope you and others will do the same for me. And point out why too please.}

Likewise and vice versa as appropriate.
{I don't think something this complicated will be solved in one go}

I would concur. Moreover, conditionals have a tendency to breed monstrously long posts. And my attention span is pitifully short these days. So I'll take your points one by one, if that's ok with you.



1.
There are no grammatical reasons for it to be excluded.

What do you mean by 'grammatical reasons' here and elsewhere? (I need to know whether we're playing rugby, soccer, or some curious five-a-side hybrid from Massachusetts.)

2.
'Had I have known it was ... ' OR 'If I had've known it was ...'

I agree that this formation sometimes occurs, especially in conversation. Nor is it particularly new. Fowler (1926) has an interesting article about it. But how would you analyse the structure?

Let's take 'If I had have known...'

'Have' here is part of a verb. It follows 'had'. The parts of verbs that can directly follow 'had' are:

a) past participle ('I had gone')
b) gerund ('I had swimming last night')
c) to-infinitive ('I had to go swimming last night')

For the verb 'to have', this gives us 'had', 'having', and 'to have'. The last is the closest to the 'have' in our example, e.g.

d) 'I had to have a haircut last night.'

Is our phrase then an ellipsis for 'If I had to have known'? But that means something different: 'if it was necessary for me to have known'. We're looking for an intensified 'if I had known'. So it can't be that particular ellipsis.

Let's try it another way.

Since you describe 'if I had have known...' as an 'intensified' form, you would presumably accept that the usual non-intensified form = 'if I had known', i.e. 'if' + the past perfect of 'know'.

A past perfect consists of [simple past tense of auxiliary 'have' + past participle].

We have the auxiliary: 'had'. We have the past participle: 'known'. Where then does the 'have' fit in? Does it belong with the 'had' or the 'known'?

We've already seen that 'have' can't directly follow 'had' in any of its senses. So it must belong to 'known'. So that makes 'I had have' a compound form of the auxiliary 'to have'. But we've already seen that 'have' – etc etc.

So: how do we analyse 'if I had have'?

Over to you, JTT!

MrP
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This thread has raised a very interesting question.

It is true that many native speakers (including myself) would say (but never write) things like:

"If I'd 've been there, none of this would have happened."

which expanded, is:

If I would have been there, none of this would have happened.

Of course, grammatically it should be:

If I had been there, none of this would have happened.

I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light on why native speakers are so tempted to change a simple "had" into a "would have" in sentences like this one.
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