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    #1

    would would

    Mr. Farraj. a reliable man, would certainly keep his appointment yesterday but his car wouldn't start and he was unable to get a taxi.

    I don't know why the first would is considered wrong but the second one has no problem. Would you please give me the grammar point here? Thanks.

    The correct form of the first would is said to be 'would certainly have said'

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: would would

    One cannot say "would (certainly) keep" an appointment in the past. "Would (certainly) have kept" is the correct tense.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 09-Mar-2014 at 22:52. Reason: Non-essential quote deleted

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    #3

    Re: would would

    Thank you, but you just said what I said, my problem is that I don't know the reason why the first would is wrong and the second one is correct.
    Why can't we say "would + have + p.p." for the both of them?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Mar-2014 at 08:57. Reason: Non-essential quote deleted

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    #4

    Re: would would

    Mike did not say what you said. He changed 'would certainly keep' to 'would certainly have kept'.

    Who told you the first 'would' is wrong? It isn't. They are both right.

    '...his car would not start' means 'he was unable to start his car'.

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    #5

    Re: would would

    My question is: Talking about a past event, when should I use 'would' and when 'would + have + p.p.'?
    Thanks,

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    #6

    Re: would would

    If we are talking about past habitual situations, we can use would. When I was a child, I would spend hours in the woods, just walking and dreaming.
    If we are talking about past insistence, we can use would. I told him it was silly, but he would take the bet.
    If we are talking about a future in the past, we can use would. Napoleon arrived on Saint Helena in 1815. He would never leave the island.


    If we are talking about a hypothetical situation, one that did not happen, we can use would have. He would have kept his appointment if his car had started.

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    #7

    Re: would would

    Thanks a million. It was so useful to me.
    Can I say if it is imaginary, use 'would have p.p.' and if it is not imaginary (or real), use 'would'?
    Last edited by atabitaraf; 10-Mar-2014 at 11:56. Reason: comma

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    #8

    Re: would would

    Not in every case.

    I think John was in Latvia last week. If so, he would have got caught in that terrible storm.


    In that sentence, the speaker is expressing a degree of certainty that John was caught in the storm if he was in Latvia.

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    #9

    Re: would would

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Who told you the first 'would' is wrong? It isn't. They are both right.
    "Mr. Farraj. a reliable man, would certainly keep his appointment yesterday but his car wouldn't start and he was unable to get a taxi."
    I can't see how the first 'would' in the above sentence is right. 5jj hasn't commented on it specifically. Yes, you can use 'would' in the past, but this is not an example.
    While I agree with 5jj - "If we are talking about a hypothetical situation, one that did not happen, we can use would have. He would have kept his appointment if his car had started" - I think it's necessary to go further and say you can't use just 'would'. Am I missing something?

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    #10

    Re: would would

    Mike said in post #2 that the first 'would' was not possible, so I did not comment further.
    I think it's necessary to go further and say you can't use just 'would'. Am I missing something?
    In post #6, I was giving some examples of when we can use the two forms. I did not want to go on to when we can't use them - the list would have become enormous.

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