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  1. #1
    acr22 is offline Newbie
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    Default had vs. would have

    My class recently did an exercise in which we were to tell which of the following two sentences were correct, and why.

    She probably would have gotten the job if she had corrected the errors in her resume.

    or

    She probably would have gotten the job if she would have corrected the errors in her resume.


    As it turns out, the first choice is correct, but can anyone give me a rule on why this is so?


    Sincerely,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: had vs. would have

    This is an example of If Clause type III.

    She probably would have got the job 1/if she had corrected the errors in her resume.2/- correct

    1. Main clause : conditional II
    2. If clause : past perfect

    This type of clause refers to situations in the past. The action could have happened in the past if a certain situation had been fulfilled.

    For more information click on the following links:
    if clauses type III - Conditional - English Grammar
    Grammar: If-clauses Type I + II + III

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: had vs. would have

    Quote Originally Posted by acr22 View Post
    My class recently did an exercise in which we were to tell which of the following two sentences were correct, and why.

    She probably would have gotten the job if she had corrected the errors in her resume.

    or

    She probably would have gotten the job if she would have corrected the errors in her resume.

    As it turns out, the first choice is correct, but can anyone give me a rule on why this is so?


    Sincerely,

    Adam
    Both are correct, Adam and both are in frequent use in English. Were you not given any reasons in your class?

    You're more likely to see the "if S had" structure used in writing because it's more factual, not as emotive as when we use 'would' and writing just tends to be more factual in nature.

    There are some prescriptions against such a use but, like all prescriptions, there are never any reasons given. We use 'could have' in 'if' clauses so what's to stop us from using 'would have'.


    She probably would have gotten the job if she could have corrected the errors in her resume but they took it away from her too soon.


    As this example sounds more like speech than formal writing, it seems completely appropriate.

    Two VERY important facts to remember about language:

    1. Just because certain structures aren't normally used in formal writing doesn't make them incorrect. They are simply inappropriate for the register of language in the same way that formal language is inappropriate for casual situations.

    2. When a teacher, or anybody for that matter, tries to tell you something about language and your internal grammar goes, "Hold on here; what's wrong with that?", there is an excellent chance that you're being misled.


    Here's one grammar wag's "reason" prohibiting this use. {the first I've ever come across actually]

    The standard way to talk about something in the past that’s different from what really happened is to use “had,” as in “The robber wished he had given the bank clerk a fake when she asked for his ID card.” People often say instead “wished he would have,” but this pattern is not acceptable in standard written English because the “wished” indicates something contrary to fact, and adding another indicator of contrariness to fact—would have”—is excessive.

    By itself, however “would have” can be used in the following sort of construction: “He would have given the clerk a fake ID, but he had left his at home.”

    would have
    His reason, "adding another indicator of contrariness to fact—would have”—is excessive" does not and cannot account for the use of <could have>, a structure that no one complains about.

    Here is the title from a website. Note that they are law students.

    Wish I Would Have Known
    Advice from law students on how they would do things over.

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