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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    They would have been searching for the fugitives.

    Yesterday I heard the sound of the flying police helicopters. They would have been searching for the fugitives. (It is just an assumption)

    I would have given it to you, if I had had it. (It is something that could have happened)

    So I am confused people say "would have done" is used when we are talking about an incident that could have taken place under certain condition. But I read first sentence on the internet that explains that it can be used for assumptions as well. So what is correct? could you please expalin?

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: They would have been searching for the fugitives.

    Your question is uncannily similar to the one asked in the link below.
    That's also about helicopters searching for suspects!

    http://ell.stackexchange.com/questio...-speculation-a

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    #3

    Re: They would have been searching for the fugitives.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Your question is uncannily similar to the one asked in the link below.
    That's also about helicopters searching for suspects!

    http://ell.stackexchange.com/questio...-speculation-a
    This post is similar to mine because this person must have visited the page that I did in order to know the proper usage of "would have done". Here "would have done" has been used as "may or might have done" But I couldn't understand that what is the conclusion, some say it is incorrect to use it like this others say it is correct so what is correct? It is confusing for a non native speaker. That page that I visited had incorrect information. "would have done" cannot be used as "may have done".

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    #4

    Re: They would have been searching for the fugitives.

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    I am confused people say "would have done" is used when we are talking about an incident that could have taken place under certain condition. But I read first sentence on the internet that explains that it can be used for assumptions as well. So what is correct? could you please expalin?
    You can use it for both. The modal verb would has many other uses, too.

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    #5

    Re: They would have been searching for the fugitives.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    You can use it for both. The modal verb would has many other uses, too.
    Okay, but the link that Teechar provided shows that it is better to stick with "may have done" for assumptions. A native speaker has mentioned that "would have done" should be used only for probablities like "if I had done this, I would have got that". But you and Rover are also native speakers so you guys are safe bet so it is correct to use "would have done" in place of "may have done" as well. Thank you.

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