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    #1

    Unhappy If you had phoned me last week, I would have

    I just bought a book "Common Errors in English" and found one sentence that I don't get.

    "If you had phoned me last week, I would have told you"
    This comes along with a picture that a bride imagining ex-boyfriend being told that she is married.

    You can see this page at the link below. It's on Page 109.
    www
    scribd.com/doc/49025950/Common-Errors-in-English

    But, to me, the following sentences are enough to explain the situation.
    1. "If you phoned me last week, I told you"
    2. "If you phoned me last week, I would told you"
    3. "If you have phoned me, I would have told you"
    Q1) Am I wrong?

    The book explains that when imagining a different past, you need more than the past simple.

    Q2) What two different situations are being imagined here? To me, it's just one situation like, what if he called me last week... or by last week.

    I might not be understanding the whole situation well..
    Q3) Would someone please explain to me what I am missing? What exactly is in her mind?? I don't understand it because I am a male?
    Last edited by Tack; 13-Oct-2011 at 07:10.

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    #2

    Re: If you had phoned me last week, I would have

    If you had phoned me last week, I would have told you. - You didn't phone me, and I didn't tell you.

    If you phoned me last week, I told you. - Did you phone me last week? I don't know or can't remember, but if you did, I definitely told you.

    If you have phoned me, I would have told you. - This sentence makes no sense to me.

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    #3

    Re: If you had phoned me last week, I would have

    Quote Originally Posted by Tack View Post

    2. "If you phoned me last week, I would told you"
    Hi, Tack.

    Unfortunately, this sentence is ungrammatical in English.

    (Yes, I know. Women... )

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    #4

    Re: If you had phoned me last week, I would have

    Quote Originally Posted by ribran View Post
    Hi, Tack.

    Unfortunately, this sentence is ungrammatical in English.

    (Yes, I know. Women... )
    Thanks ribran,

    I now kind of understand that 2. "If you phoned me last week, I would told you" is wrong because "would told" sounds like a mixture of future and past.
    It might become sounding OK somehow with "If you phoned me last week, I would have told you", then, now the bride just used present perfect, the ex-boyfriend should use past perfect.

    That's the two different past the book is talking about?


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    #5

    Re: If you had phoned me last week, I would have

    Hi, Tack.

    I think you've got it. The key is that the first sentence is completely hypothetical. We know that they didn't talk last week.

    The second sentence leaves open the possibility that he might have phoned her last week.

    In this particular case, I would avoid mixing the two (If you phoned me last week, I would have told you).

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    #6

    Re: If you had phoned me last week, I would have

    Quote Originally Posted by ribran View Post
    In this particular case, I would avoid mixing the two (If you phoned me last week, I would have told you).
    I agree. It's just about possible in theory, with the meaning I suggest below, but highly unlkely.

    If you phoned me last week (Did you phone me last week? I don't know or can't remember, but if you did...) I would have told you (...then , in that hypothetical case, it would be certain that I told you).

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