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Hi all

I'm trying to work out if there's a difference between "If I'd been able to do it" and "If I'd have been able to do it". I've got to the point of realising that the first "I'd" is "I had" and the second one is "I would", so the two sentences without contractions would be:

- If I had been able to do it
- If I would have been able to do it

Does the second sentence even make sense? Is it correct on its own or can it only be used as a dependent clause, as in "If I had been able to do it, I would have been able to..."?

Many thanks
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Comments  

- If I had been able to do it
- If I would have been able to do it

Hi, Cornish. Where ya been?

I grew up in New England and never heard the second usage. When I did some work in the midwest as an adult, I heard it all the time, and I thought, "What's wrong with these people? Where did they go to school?"
It still makes absolutely no sense to me. Emotion: big smile

I'm not sure of the relation between the second phrase and your last rendition - or if there is one.

Best regards, - A.
A Cornish PastyDoes the second sentence even make sense?
Not to me. After if, will and would are not used, or rather, they are used only in very special situations, and this is not one of them. For me, the only correct form is "if I had been able", though you will find people who insist that "if I would have been able" or even "if I had've been able" or "if I had of been able" or "if I would of been able" is correct.

CJ
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A Cornish PastyI'm trying to work out if there's a difference between "If I'd been able to do it" and "If I'd have been able to do it".
To me, only the first is standard English. However, the second is routinely used by some native speakers, and, I suppose because of familiarity, does not in conversation sound like a dreadful error to me. "If I would have been able to do it" sounds more wrong to me.
A Cornish PastyI'm trying to work out if there's a difference between "If I'd been able to do it" and "If I'd have been able to do it". I've got to the point of realising that the first "I'd" is "I had" and the second one is "I would"
Thinking some more, I'm not sure if this is necessarily true. I suspect that if you asked some of those speakers who say "If I'd have been...", they'd claim it was short for "I had". In fact, I think I can even visualise some people saying "If I had have been..."
Mr Wordy[ they'd claim it was short for "I had".
"If I had have been able to do it" doesn't seem a whole heckovalot better, to my ear. Emotion: shake - A.

But I have to admit, at some point out with the gang, I probably said, "If Ida been there I woulda helped you,"
meaning,
"If I had have been there I would have helped you."
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This kind of sentence seems OK though:

"I don't know if I would have been a good lawyer, or even if I would have been
able
to get through law school."
Mr WordyThis kind of sentence seems OK though:

"I don't know if I would have been a good lawyer, or even if I would have been
able
to get through law school."
Let me repeat something from above.

"After if, will and would are not used, or rather, they are used only in very special situations, and this is not one of them."

One of the special situations I had in mind was precisely this one: indirect questions, as in sentences with "I don't know if ...".

Emotion: smile

CJ
It even sounds good to my ear.
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