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    #1

    If he would

    Is "if he would have done that..." proper English? I think the correct construction is "if he had done that..."

    Thank you for your time and effort.

  1. Junior Member
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    #2

    Re: If he would

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Is "if he would have done that..." proper English? I think the correct construction is "if he had done that..."

    Thank you for your time and effort.
    Hi

    Your idea is correct. In standard English, the correct construction is "If somebody had done something." In more formal English, an alternative would be "Had somebody done that" (without "if" and with the subject and auxiliary verb inverted.)

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: If he would

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Is "if he would have done that..." proper English? I think the correct construction is "if he had done that..."

    Thank you for your time and effort.
    Yes, it can be correct, but only if it's used to mean what it says.
    It doesn't mean "if he had done that..." - although I'm sure it's used this way by some people.

    The correct usage is rarely needed; it requires two conditions:

    A: Do you think John would have gone to college if he had matriculated from High School?
    B: No, I doubt it.
    A: Why?
    B: If he would have gone to college [if he had matriculated], he would have tried harder.

    If
    his plan was to go to college if he passed, he would have tried harder. But he wanted to become an auto mechanic, so he didn't try hard.
    If (if he had passed) he would have gone to college ...
    If (had he passed) he would have chosen to go to college ...

    C: I think Peter would have beaten up his girlfriend if she'd threatened to leave him.
    D: If he would have done that, he's capable of anything.

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    #4

    Re: If he would

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, it can be correct, but only if it's used to mean what it says.
    It doesn't mean "if he had done that..." - although I'm sure it's used this way by some people.

    The correct usage is rarely needed; it requires two conditions:

    A: Do you think John would have gone to college if he had matriculated from High School?
    B: No, I doubt it.
    A: Why?
    B: If he would have gone to college [if he had matriculated], he would have tried harder.

    If his plan was to go to college if he passed, he would have tried harder. But he wanted to become an auto mechanic, so he didn't try hard.
    If (if he had passed) he would have gone to college ...
    If (had he passed) he would have chosen to go to college ...

    C: I think Peter would have beaten up his girlfriend if she'd threatened to leave him.
    D: If he would have done that, he's capable of anything.
    Would it be wrong to say "if he had done that, he's capable of anything"?

    Thanks.

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    #5

    Re: If he would

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Would it be wrong to say "if he had done that, he's capable of anything"?

    Thanks.
    No, it's not wrong. But in most cases "If he did that, he's capable of anything" would be better.

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