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  1. #1
    LD80061 is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Differences between "we have" and "we had"...

    My question: What is the difference between "We have to have been joking yesterday" and "We had to have been joking yesterday."


  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: Differences between "we have" and "we had"...

    If you say "We have to have been" it means that it is a current requirement that we were joking yesterday. If you can think of a situation in which this makes sense, then you can use the "We have to have been" formation.

    If you say "We had to have been" it means "We must have been" -- the only thing that makes sense is that we were joking. This doesn't makes much sense to me. Surely the person saying this knows whether he or she was part of a group that was joking.

    Oh, and welcome to the forums!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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