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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • Taiwan
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      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Oct 2012
    • Posts: 16

    would and would have

    Hi everybody!
    I want to ask a grammar about hypothetic usage.
    I am not sure my understanding is correct.
    For example,
    if I want to ask somebody if he were in that situation, what would he do?
    How could I ask him?
    1.what would you do if you were in that situation?
    2.what would you have done if you were in that situation?
    I am confusing about the timing between using "what would you do"and "what would you have done".
    I guess,when we talk about some hypothetic situation that is just our imagination,
    like"What would you do if you were a robot?",we would use "what would you do".
    On the other hand,when we are talking about some situation that has actually existed,
    like "What would you have done if you were in that fire",that the fire was factual,
    but you were not there,we would use"what would you have done".
    I mean,if the hypothetic situation is basic on some real past things,we use
    "What would you have done".Otherwise,we would use"What would you do",right?
    This is just my guess, I am not really sure about all this.If my understanding
    is wrong,please correct it.I need to know what timing matches what usages.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 27,908

    Re: would and would have

    What would you do if you were in that situation? - Now or in the future.
    What would you have done if you had been in that situation? In the past.


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