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  1. VIP Member
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    #21

    Re: What do you think about common mistakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    What makes this particularly fascinating to me is that the contracted 'd has come to be assumed as a weak form of had instead of would, and so when articulated in negative clauses, you get If we hadn't've moved ... Now, where the erroneous American forms would have and wouldn't have are at least grammatical as chunks in themselves, the British versions had have and hadn't have are not, making them in my opinion impossible to justify.

    [....] I think that those mutations such as had have, which violate certain deeply structural grammatical rules, will always remain as 'errors', no matter how commonplace they may become.
    These had have forms are, in my opinion, so common, that one could argue that it is hardly possible to justify calling them errors.

    If they had/ve () appeared in the lists of tenses drawn up by grammarians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we wouldn't have questioned them.

  2. Senior Member
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    #22

    Re: What do you think about common mistakes?

    Could it be that the English language treats a sentence that is limited in occurence differently? Coming from a language that doesn't use either inversion or the perfect aspect, I've noticed that most diviations from "default grammar" can be found in conditional sentences (eg. "If I were...", "...as if it were to...", "...whether it be...") and 'negative sentences' (I'm not sure about the term. I mean e.g. "...nor did it...", "Not only was it...", "Never have we...")

    Maybe at some point, one person wanted to convey a specific, limited meaning, and (not knowing how it was supposed to be) they made up something that sounded "Yeah, just about OK." Then they just stuck with it, and it started spreading. I'm interested in how Monty Python played with using language to create the sense of ridiculous. Poetry also uses unconventional language, for emotional purposes. If your great grandfather would have been telling () you stories that were passionate, and/or hillarious, you would probably have liked them enough to remember how they were said.


    Could you tell me something about "If that could've been..."? Could it be any related to "If that would've been..."?
    Last edited by Glizdka; 04-Jun-2019 at 21:54.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #23

    Re: What do you think about common mistakes?

    If they had/ve () appeared in the lists of tenses drawn up by grammarians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we wouldn't have questioned them.
    As GoesStation pointed out, when we say "had-a done something" as we very often do in AmE, we don't even know what the -a stands for. It is nevertheless a standard part of the spoken dialect, as surely as if it was supported by authoritative grammarians.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #24

    Re: What do you think about common mistakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    As GoesStation pointed out, when we say "had-a done something" as we very often do in AmE, we don't even know what the -a stands for.
    I suspect that this mysterious extra syllable may have appeared as a way to make a smoother transition from one stressed syllable (had) to the next (done). The extra schwa acts to control the rhythm of speech. The fact that this extra schwa tends to appear only before done is perhaps to do with the delayed plosion caused by the double /d/ consonant, an effect that creates a tension that can be avoided by inserting a transitional schwa.

    It could be that this extra schwa may have been at some point rationalised by the mind as a word in itself—a weak form of haveto produce the had have mentioned in previous posts. It could be that from this had have came the contracted form 'd have and from there the 'd came to be realised as a short form of would, finally producing the would have (done) that we hear today.

    All this is just my own very amateur theorising, by the way. I have absolutely no academic authority on any of this. I'm not even especially convinced by my own theory. I do find it very interesting, though.

  5. probus's Avatar
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    #25

    Re: What do you think about common mistakes?

    It's not only before done.

    Had-a said...
    Had-a followed,,,
    Had-a stumbled ...
    Has-a anything really.

    I think it is the exact American equivalent of had've in BrE.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 05-Jun-2019 at 07:56. Reason: fixing typo

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