General Question

ussenterprise's avatar

What tense is this?

Asked by ussenterprise (14 points ) April 21st, 2014

Tense: “Would have had”
Use: To indicate a possible future that could have arisen if the past had gone differently.

Example: If he had hit a home run, they would have had won.
Example: She would have had participated in the marathon had she not hurt her knee.
Example: The accident would have had not occurred but for the truck driver’s negligence.

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12 Answers

Adagio's avatar

The addition of the word “had” in all three sentences sounds completely wrong to me. “Would have” yes but “would have had”, as I have said, sounds completely wrong. It would make much more sense to say “Would have won”, “would have participated ” , “would not have occurred”

weeveeship's avatar

Another example:
“If I did not have a pen ready, I would have had to borrow one from my friend.”

Oh, note: I’m the same person as ussenterprise. This is my real account. I just returned after long hiatus and forgot my account information. But, now that’s all taken care of. (Mods: If you must delete an account,delete ussenterprise)

noservice's avatar

Your examples in the question you posted aren’t really correct. This is because sentence clauses in English can really have only one tense. However, your sentences attempt to combine past (“had”) tense with past perfect tense (“have en/ed”).

But! The interesting part is that your example in the comments is correct! This is because the “have” here is the tense marker whereas the “had” is conjugated differently because it is a different part of speech. The “had” in “had to” is a verb, whereas the “would have” here is a tense marker.

In short, the “have” in “would have” is not equal to the “have” in “had to.” Have =/= have. It’s the same word, but its placement gives it a different function and meaning.

I realize that this may make no sense to anyone that isn’t a grammarian. I’m sorry.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Would have had = future perfect tense.

All three of your examples, however are completely erroneous.

Example 1: If he had hit a home run, they would have had won.
Example 2: She would have had participated in the marathon had she not hurt her knee.
Example3: The accident would have had not occurred but for the truck driver’s negligence.

cazzie's avatar

I think this is called conditional progressive. Look here for some examples: http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/tenses

‘would have’ is rather special.

gailcalled's avatar

This Grammar usage source calls it the Third Conditional.It has its uses.

“We can use the Third Conditional to talk about ‘impossible’ conditions, impossible because they are in the past and we cannot change what has happened.

If I had worked harder at school, I would have earned better grades.
If I had had time, I would have gone to see him. But I didn’t have time.
If we had bought that house, we would have had to rebuild the kitchen.
If we had caught the earlier train, we would have got there on time but we were late.”

********

The examples above of a form of the future conditional here use several different verbs with ’“would have”:

to earn
to go
to have
to go

Future conditional appears in the main clause of an “if…..then” form of sentence.

You could use “they would have had to win” in this sentence correctly;

“In order to have pleased their mother, they would have had to win both the gold and the silver medals. But that would have been impossible since they came in respectively second-to-last and last.”

There are lots of fancy names for this tense. Myself, I like the “third conditional.’’

Stinley's avatar

In your example in @weeveeship, it’s the Conditional perfect tense. Conditional because it uses would and perfect because it is the past perfect tense.

The conditional tense is either present tense: If I had a good job, I would have money
or
perfect (past) tense: if I had bought the lottery ticket, I would have had lots of money

As others mention, the original question examples are incorrect.

JLeslie's avatar

I think when used corectly an infinitive verb follows, like @gailcalled‘s examples.

Your examples are incorrect, as everyone pointed out, but there is a place for would have had in the language.

If it had rained we would have had to bring in all the decorations for the party. It explains a consequence happening in the future, but I guess it maybe used more when complaining or explaining? I’m just trying to think of when people actually use it. You could convey a similar thought by saying If it had rained we would have brought all the decorations inside but that sounds more matter of fact, rather than emphasizing that it would have been a chore with my first example. It depends on the context of the conversation which you would likely use.

gailcalled's avatar

@Stinley: Thank you.That’s it, the explanation of which also explains the meaning of “third conditional.”

“In English, the conditional perfect is formed using “would have” together with the past participle of the main verb. The auxiliary “would” marks the conditional mood (it is occasionally replaced by “should have” in the first person), while the auxiliary “have” (used in combination with the past participle) marks the perfect aspect (prior occurrence of the event in question).

The conditional perfect is used chiefly in the main clause of “third conditional” sentences…{which OP defined correctly as ”To indicate a possible future that could have arisen if the past had gone differently.}

You would have gotten more money if you had worked harder.
If we had run faster, we would have arrived earlier.
If I were a woman, I would have entered the contest.” Source

stanleybmanly's avatar

It may not be bad grammar, but is certainly at least awkward grammar and sounds defective. There has to be a better and less irritating formatting of @gailcalled‘s “if I had worked harder at school——” How about “had I worked harder at school—-”

flo's avatar

Maybe this: site has the answer?

Adagio's avatar

I’m glad other people know why your examples don’t work and how to explain why, I only know they don’t work but can’t explain exactly why, explaining grammar is not my thing.

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