+0
Help - I was asked about this and I thought myself in circles.

If he had needed me, I would have had... [to go] [to have gone].

Which one? Why? (I have really manged to confuse myself. I really think only the second sounds right, but I can't explain the back shift.)

I think "I would have to go" but "I would had to have gone" - we back shift one, so we back shift the other. But is it that simple?

Thank you!!
+0
Grammar GeekIf he had needed me, I would have had... [to go] [to have gone].
Hi Barb

I guess this is the way I would look at it:

If he had needed me, I would have had to go. --> This sounds fine to me. At the moment you found out about his need, your going would have still been in the future.

Granted, this is a different meaning of "have to", but I think it illustrates the point I'm trying to make:

If he had screamed, he would have had to have been in serious trouble. -->In this theoretical situation, the trouble started before he screamed, or the start of the trouble and the scream happened roughly simultaneously. Viewed in relation to the time of the scream, there is no way you can say that the serious trouble was still in the future.
Comments  
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Thanks - this became one of those things where the more times I said them outloud, the weirder they both started to sound!
Sir,i am still perplexed from your explaination, could you be quite clear more by giving more examples to understand it..................

It would rather be very kind of you.................i am regretted for any grammar or spelling mistakes.