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OK - consider this sentence:
If I'd have had the money I would have bought it.

Here in the UK, that would be a perfectly reasonable sentence, and so far as I know, grammatically correct. "I'd" is short for "I had", so "I'd have had" expands to "I had have had". I've been hearing, using, and reading, this construction for decades, and no-one's questioned it until now.

Now an American tells me that "had have had" is wrong. If I had to guess, I'd guess that they were looking for "If I'd had" instead of "If I'd have had".

Google certainly confirms that I'm not alone in my use of "had have had". The question is, can this usage be backed up in any formal reference? Or is my American friend right, and I've been getting it wrong for nearly half a century?
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Comments  (Page 5) 
No, that would be a 2nd conditional.

If I had the money I would buy it.

If I had a helicopter I would fly to school.

We are talking about a 3rd conditional sentence expressing something that has past.

example:

If I had seen the car I wouldn't have crashed (you didn't see the car. You crashed)

phil
Dear Grammar geek,

It is irrelevent wether the original question was about non-standard UK use or American use. Firstly, I wasn't telling anyone how to moderate their forum. Also, unfortunately for you, my first mailing wasn't removed at all nor was it in any way rude it simply took a few days to appear ( it is there at the moment).

Furthermore, I am very aware of what I am talking about, I have been a Teacher of English as a foreign language with the British Council for over 20 years and I can assure you that the structure the postings are talking about is called a 3rd condtional sentence. I have never heard the form "If I would have... " used in England but I hear it all the time from American speakers across the country and across economic and social strata so it is obviously well entreched in American English; that fact doesn't make it grammatically correct.
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I hear it all the time from American speakers across the country and across economic and social strata so it is obviously well entrenched in American English; that fact doesn't make it grammatically correct.
Unfortunately, it does, Anon. I am not particularly fond of the structure either, but if the prevalence you posit is true, then it is quite correct. It is 'incorrect' only in the regional English which you are prescribing.
It is 'incorrect' only in the regional English which you are prescribing
I'm not defending a regional dialect of English. I'm pointing out the correct form of the 3rd conditional spoken throughout England and other English speaking countries in the main, and still found in the grammar book. Furthermore, although the use of "If I would have..." is very common in America it is also often pointed out as wrong by educated American writers. We have to be able to make a distinction sometimes between 'correct' and 'incorrect' in all kinds of fields. Why should it be the case that simple numbers dictate? Their is no advantage in changing 'had' to 'would have' but their is a greater chance of creating confusion. Are we going to get rid of all the other uses of the Past Perfect? shall I start saying 'Julie would have been driving...' Instead of ' Julie had been driving...' ? If everyone thinks the world is flat, is it in fact flat?
The old controversy. Is language more static over time, like natural law, or more changeable, like fashion?

Personally, I think it's more like fashion. The (prescriptive) textbooks tell us what's currently in fashion in the language of the educated classes. Provided you've had some exposure to these books, it's a question of whether you want to be (or want to seem to be, or have to be, in some cases) part of that world or not. Those who have had no exposure to that world will, by default, dress and speak and act as is appropriate to their own group, that is, like those around them.

I find "If I had've had" barbaric, but I don't gasp in disapproval when my friends use it, and cross them off my list.

The world is big enough for all, I suspect. Emotion: smile

CJ
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"There are no facts, only interpretations" - Nietzsche


What was he interpreting?
Anonymous What was he interpreting?
Life in general I suppose, but it all depends on how you look at it! Emotion: smile
I'd is also a contraction for I would. Which would make the sentence say "If I would have had the money I would have bought it." I think that makes more sense.
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No I think you have not read the discussion above. It would make no sense whatsoever. That is the whole point. I'd is sometimes a contraction of 'I would' and sometimes a contraction of 'I had' it depends on the situation but you never say "If I would have had the money I would have bought it" , you say " If I had had the money I would have bought it". 'If i had seen....' 'If I had eaten....' 'If I had read....' the beginning is speculation about something you didn't do. you DIDN'T see you DIDN'T read you DIDN'T eat .... what would have happened if you HAD DONE those things? That is a 3rd conditional sentence. I really hope you now understand.

Phil
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