[Grammar] would and would have

Status
Not open for further replies.

hotapplepie

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Taiwan
Current Location
Taiwan
Hi everybody!
I want to ask a grammar about hypothetic usage.
I am not sure my understanding is correct.
For example,
if I want to ask somebody if he were in that situation, what would he do?
How could I ask him?
1.what would you do if you were in that situation?
2.what would you have done if you were in that situation?
I am confusing about the timing between using "what would you do"and "what would you have done".
I guess,when we talk about some hypothetic situation that is just our imagination,
like"What would you do if you were a robot?",we would use "what would you do".
On the other hand,when we are talking about some situation that has actually existed,
like "What would you have done if you were in that fire",that the fire was factual,
but you were not there,we would use"what would you have done".
I mean,if the hypothetic situation is basic on some real past things,we use
"What would you have done".Otherwise,we would use"What would you do",right?
This is just my guess, I am not really sure about all this.If my understanding
is wrong,please correct it.I need to know what timing matches what usages.
Thanks in advance.
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
What would you do if you were in that situation? - Now or in the future.
What would you have done if you had been in that situation? In the past.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top