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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    Would or would have fired

    They have gone there with guns, if necessary they will fire on enemies.

    In past tense

    "They left with guns, if necessary They would fire on enemies" or do I need to use " would have fired" here?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Would or would have fired

    "Would have".

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Would or would have fired

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    "They left with guns. If necessary they would fire on enemies" or do I need to use " would have fired" here?
    Both are possible.

    If necessary, they would fire ... - If it proved necessary, they were prepared to fire. We do not know if it proved necessary.

    If necessary, they would have fired ... -
    If it had proved necessary, they would have fired. It did not prove necessary.

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    #4

    Re: Would or would have fired

    But I am confused between these two could you please explain me how to know whether we have to use "would or would have done" when talking about past?

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Would or would have fired

    Piscean makes a good point, but I personally would stick with "would have fired" to keep the tenses straight.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Would or would have fired

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    could you please explain me how to know whether we have to use "would or would have done" when talking about past?
    I showed you the difference in meaning in post #4.

  7. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Would or would have fired

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I personally would stick with "would have fired" to keep the tenses straight.
    The tenses appear to me to be fine in both the examples I gave.

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