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    #1

    Surely Francis would have informed you...

    In the following sentence, why is "would have told" correct?

    Surely Francis would have informed you about the situation if he thought it was important to do so.

    Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    It's never easy to explain why something is correct.

    Why do you think it might not be?

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    #3

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    They both have the same meaning, informed sounds quite formal. If this is a normal informal conversation then told would sound more natural.

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    #4

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    My apologies, it a typo error. I was seeking clarification on the tense usage of "would have informed". I was thinking of 'informed' but typed 'told' unwittingly.


    Surely Francis would have informed you about the situation if he thought it was important to do so.

    The explanation for using 'would have informed' has to do with the sentence being conditional? Kindly help me to understand.

    Thank you!

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    'Would have informed' is used because it refers to the past.
    I would add 'had' before 'thought' because it should be a third conditional sentence.
    Last edited by Matthew Wai; 30-Jun-2016 at 11:25. Reason: Fixing a typo.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    What is a third conditional sentence?

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    Francis would inform you is part of a normal conditional sentence, talking about a present situation. For example, Francis would inform you if he thought it was important.

    Francis would have informed is talking about a past situation. In English, modal verbs must be followed by an infinitive (or base form) e.g., have, go, like. Therefore to use a modal verb in the past, we have to use the present perfect form. He must have gone, she shouldn't have eaten, they will have left, etc.

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    #9

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    I would add 'had' before 'thought' because it should be a third conditional sentence.
    It doesn't have to be.

    Surely Francis would have informed you about the situation if he thought it was important to do so.

    Francis does not think it important (in the general present) to inform people of the situation.If he thought that, he would have informed you (in the recent past).
    Last edited by Piscean; 30-Jun-2016 at 15:41.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Surely Francis would have informed you...

    Then why did Roman55 use 'had intended' instead of 'intended' below?
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...=1#post1226963
    I am not a teacher.

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