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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Had I known

    Hello,
    I read this sentence: "Had I known, I'd have come immediately"
    It's a construction that I've never seen before. I guess is the same meaning than "If I had known..."
    Is that true?
    Is it a usual way to say it?

    Thank you very much in advance


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: Had I known

    Quote Originally Posted by xnavar View Post
    Hello,
    I read this sentence: "Had I known, I'd have come immediately"
    It's a construction that I've never seen before. I guess is the same meaning than "If I had known..."
    Is that true?
    Is it a usual way to say it?

    Thank you very much in advance
    I agree.

    It is a 3rd conditional structure with the "if" ellipted.

    It's a fairly common way to say it; it wouldn't sound unusual here in England.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: Had I known

    Quote Originally Posted by xnavar View Post
    Hello,
    I read this sentence: "Had I known, I'd have come immediately"
    It's a construction that I've never seen before. I guess is the same meaning than "If I had known..." (but 'it's the same as'
    Is that true?
    Is it a usual way to say it?

    Thank you very much in advance
    It is usual, though rather more formal than the 'if' version. A common (reinforced) rhetorical variant is 'had I but known' - which means 'if only I had known'.

    b

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