3rd Conditional

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3rd Conditional

Unread postby Steve » 26 Oct 2005, 11:37

I was explaining the third conditional to a group of students yesterday:

If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a Ferrari ..... etc.

All was going well until I caught myself (a native speaker) saying,
"If I'd have won the lottery, I'd have bought a Ferrari"

Now, we all know that an if-clause cannot contain a 'would', so that 'd must be a 'had'. "If I had have won the lottery...." - it looks bad written down, doesn't it?

The shortened form doesn't sound wrong, but I can't find anything to back it up. Is this a bit of dialect creeping in or have the grammar books forgotten to mention this "anomaly"?
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Re: 3rd Conditional

Unread postby schetin » 26 Oct 2005, 13:08

Hi Steve,

Steve wrote:All was going well until I caught myself (a native speaker) saying,
"If I'd have won the lottery, I'd have bought a Ferrari"

Now, we all know that an if-clause cannot contain a 'would', so that 'd must be a 'had'. "If I had have won the lottery...." - it looks bad written down, doesn't it?

The shortened form doesn't sound wrong, but I can't find anything to back it up. Is this a bit of dialect creeping in or have the grammar books forgotten to mention this "anomaly"?


The form " 'd have won" must suggest a shortened form of "should" meaning "all of a sudden/unexpectedly", and there's no mistake about it. Actually, you might have said "Should I have won" instead of "If I'd have won".
Me, I never ever introduce Conditionals the way they are generally introduced - the system is all wrong.

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Unread postby Steve » 26 Oct 2005, 14:59

Hi Slava,

Thanks for your reply.

But doesn't 'should' take the place of 'if' in your example?

I realise we have the options, "Should I have won..." and also "If I were to have won...", (which are both a little too formal these days) but I'm not sure 'should' would ever be shortened, ie the 'd is a shortened 'had'.

I think it's probably OK to say, "If I'd have won the lottery.. ", but not to write it.

Just out of interest, how do you introduce conditionals?
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Unread postby schetin » 26 Oct 2005, 17:32

Hi again Steve

Steve wrote:...doesn't 'should' take the place of 'if' in your example?

Sure. "Had I been..." instead of "If I had been..."; "should you go..." instead of "if you should go..."; etc.

Steve wrote:I realise we have the options, "Should I have won..." and also "If I were to have won...", (which are both a little too formal these days) but I'm not sure 'should' would ever be shortened, ie the 'd is a shortened 'had'.
I think it's probably OK to say, "If I'd have won the lottery.. ", but not to write it.


You really have no alternative. Many consider your example as a blunder. I wouldn't, since it sounds OK, as you say. On the other hand " 'd" can't stand for "had", for there's no verb group "have + Infinitive without 'to' " (sc. "had have"). There should be a modal for " 'd" to introduce Infinitive, and of all the modal verbs ending with -d (could, would, should) only "should" makes sense.
So you see, it's a matter of either you take it or leave it - either a mistake or "should".

Steve wrote:Just out of interest, how do you introduce conditionals?


I don't. I don't need to, don't have to.
You see, I've got my own verb grammar and it saves me time on explaining Conditionals.

Anyway, since there's no Tense form for Future, futurity is expressed through modals. Modals are verbs that express attitudes. In a common case you don't need to express your attitude to a condition expressed by an if-clause (it's a condition, just a post on the road; as a rule it's independent of any attitudes; you usually express attitudes in the main clause, don't you).
On the other hand, there are cases when you can express your attitude to a condition - in this case there are no limitations on using any modals, including "will": "If the door won't open, we'll stay outdoors for the night". The same is with "should" in your example.

Ask questions if anything isn't clear.

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Slava
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Unread postby Del » 10 Jul 2007, 14:28

Sorry for dragging up this old thread... but I think this may be a dialect thing. Steve, you don't happen to be Irish do you? I am, and I constantly hear myself (and other Irish people) saying things like this: If I'd've won the lotto I'd've bought a ferrari.
Of course I don't teach this though!
I think the mystery 'd does stand for 'had' because when emphasising the condition this becomes:
'If I hada' won the lotto....' (or 'If I hadn'ta' won....') with the -a' presumably taking the place of 'have'

:oops:
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Unread postby jasminade » 11 Jul 2007, 15:18

Del wrote:Sorry for dragging up this old thread... but I think this may be a dialect thing. Steve, you don't happen to be Irish do you? I am, and I constantly hear myself (and other Irish people) saying things like this: If I'd've won the lotto I'd've bought a ferrari.
Of course I don't teach this though!
I think the mystery 'd does stand for 'had' because when emphasising the condition this becomes:
'If I hada' won the lotto....' (or 'If I hadn'ta' won....') with the -a' presumably taking the place of 'have'

:oops:


I am Irish and when I repeat the phrase I see there is a very lyrical quality to it. Up and down beat.
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Unread postby Peter Easton » 12 Jul 2007, 03:17

It's called the double past-anterior and is found French, German and I assume in Irish Gaelic.
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Unread postby charles01234 » 04 Aug 2007, 22:45

if I'd've is not just Irish-dialect, British people say it as well (including myself). Michael Swan writes about it in Practical English Usage, saying that it is technically considered incorrect, but that it is found in the speech of most educated people.
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Unread postby Peter Easton » 05 Aug 2007, 02:59

Yeah I realised that after I wrote it. :)
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would have, would have

Unread postby jsa » 29 Aug 2007, 23:30

I've worked closely with Americans in recent years, and they've all used the "double-barrelled" would-have at one time or another. I hear it on CNN. And watching NFL Football, a recurring piece of commentator speak is "if only he'd've held on to that ball".

The funny thing in the light of previous posts is that I'm originally from the north of Ireland, and have been around the British Isles a bit, both living and travelling, and don't really associate this form with British or Irish English speakers, only with Americans.
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Unread postby Kean » 19 Oct 2007, 13:23

The "double barrelled" form is basically wrong, but quite common.
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I have to say...

Unread postby flowerbeast » 21 Oct 2007, 02:30

Well, since I like to try to find ways to make bad grammar legal, technically what you're calling 'double-barreled' can be correct, if we stretch things and use 'will' to express volition or a tendency.

1st conditional
If you'll hand me that towel, I'll dry my hair.
If he'll play loud music all day, I'll leave.

(first is volition, second is tendency)

2nd conditional
If you'd hand me that towel, I'd dry my hair.
If he'd play loud music all day, I'd leave.

3rd conditional
If you'd have handed me that towel, I'd have dried my hair (but you wouldn't because you're a jerk).
If he'd have played loud music all day, I'd have left (but luckily, he was the sort who would sit around quietly).

As a parting note:
Always remember that zero, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd conditionals are merely handy rules of thumb, and conditionals can exist in bizarre, mixed forms!
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Unread postby flowerbeast » 21 Oct 2007, 02:31

damn...I unwittingly revealed my nationality with the word 'barreled'...
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Unread postby jasminade » 22 Oct 2007, 15:47

Aye, and you used the word "jerk". :lol:
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