Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #1

    Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Can would have done be used for a repeated action in the past?

    Consider the following examples:

    1) He used to visit Jane' family quite often when he lived nextdoor to them.
    2) He would visit Jane's family every now and then when he lived nextdoor to them.
    3) He would have visited (= he often visited them in the past, a repeated action in the past)...............?

    Is there a way to complete sentence 3) so that the verb visit would have a "repeated" meaning, describing a repeated action in the past (like in the first two examples)?

    I am asking this question because I was told in this forum that it's possible, but I still doubt it and can only think of one use of would have done, for an action in the past that DID NOT actually happen: He would have visited Jane' family, if he had had time (but he DID NOT visit them).
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,626
    #2

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Can would have done be used for a repeated action in the past?

    Consider the following examples:

    1) He used to visit Jane' family quite often when he lived nextdoor to them.
    2) He would visit Jane's family every now and then when he lived nextdoor to them.
    3) He would have visited (= he often visited them in the past, a repeated action in the past)...............?

    Is there a way to complete sentence 3) so that the verb visit would have a "repeated" meaning, describing a repeated action in the past (like in the first two examples)?

    I am asking this question because I was told in this forum that it's possible, but I still doubt it and can only think of one use of would have done, for an action in the past that DID NOT actually happen: He would have visited Jane' family, if he had had time (but he DID NOT visit them).
    "He would have visited Jane's family often when they lived nearby."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    #3

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    In fact, "used to" and "would" already contain a "repeated" connotation, which means, in your first two sentences, "quite often" and "every now and then" are not necessary but it's Okay for them to be there.

    However, to my knowledge, "would have done" has no "repeated" connotation to it.

    ************NOT A TEACHER***********

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #4

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post

    However, to my knowledge, "would have done" has no "repeated" connotation to it.

    ************NOT A TEACHER***********
    I myself was surprised when I learned that it HAS! Now I am looking for examples.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #5

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "He would have visited Jane's family often when they lived nearby."
    What's the difference between this sentence and sentences 1) and 2)?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,626
    #6

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    What's the difference between this sentence and sentences 1) and 2)?
    We are stating a probability, we think that it's very likely that that's what he did.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #7

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    In fact, "used to" and "would" already contain a "repeated" connotation, which means, in your first two sentences, "quite often" and "every now and then" are not necessary but it's Okay for them to be there.

    However, to my knowledge, "would have done" has no "repeated" connotation to it.

    ************NOT A TEACHER***********
    I disagree with this post. Yes, "used to" and "would" convey "repetition", but they say nothing about the frequency. "Quite often" and "every now and then" provide the information about frequency.

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #8

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    We are stating a probability, we think that it's very likely that that's what he did.
    Can I say in the same way He MUST have visited Jane's family quite often... or He MAY have visited Jane's family quite often... with different degrees of probability ?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 24-Dec-2013 at 06:46.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #9

    Re: Would have done (for a repeated action in the past)

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Can I say in the same way He MUST have visited Jane's family quite often... or He MAY have visited Jane's family quite often... with different degrees of probability ?
    Yes. Also "might". But one has to understand that modal verbs often reflect the opinion/view of the speaker/writer. The reality is often different.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2012, 15:53
  2. when+present perfect to mean past action
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2012, 20:15
  3. present progressive for repeated action
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2011, 15:13
  4. [General] Past action with HAVE
    By grammarfreak in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Jan-2011, 12:07
  5. [Grammar] Past perfect, an action happened after a past event?
    By cubezero3 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Sep-2010, 17:37

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •