... had have been able...

Dimmas

Senior Member
Russian
Talking with a girl from York, England I've heard such a sentence

"and I guess if i had have been able to have had a child in my 30s i would have been able to saty at home"

I think it's overload. Can you explain me why she used "had have been able"?
Was it correct?

Thanks in advance!

Dimmas.
 
  • Mallavia

    Senior Member
    Spain, French & English
    i think it does not make any sense at all. in my opinion, it should be:

    "and i guess if i had been able to have a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home"
    "and i guess if i had had a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home2

    that's how i would say it but dunno she's a native speaker and i'm not so....anyway sometimes we do make mistakes in our mother tongue, son't we??
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Talking with a girl from York, England I've heard such a sentence

    "and I guess if
    i I had would have been able to have had a child in my 30s i I would have been able to saty stay at home"
    It makes little sense as recorded. If you were to change the initial 'had' to would, it would be ok.
     

    Mallavia

    Senior Member
    Spain, French & English
    sorry cuchuflete but i don't agree with you, a conditional sentence (3rd type) needs to have a could/would as main sentence and a had+past participle as conditional sentence.
    you can't have would in both of them, can u?
    tell if i'm wrong anyway
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Sorry cuchuflete but i I don't agree with you, a conditional sentence (3rd type) needs to have a could/would as main sentence and a had+past participle as conditional sentence.
    You can't have would in both of them, can u you?
    tell if I'm wrong anyway
    Hello Mallavia,
    I have no idea what a third type conditional sentence is. Would you explain that please?


    If I would have had a baseball bat in my hand, I would have had an opportunity to swing at the pitch.
     

    Mallavia

    Senior Member
    Spain, French & English
    Hi, thanks for correcting my spelling mistakes, i would have never known how to write it properly.
    a 3rd type of conditional sentence is related to the sentences expressing conditions in the past. IMPOSSIBLE. (If + Past Perfect, would have + past participle)
    a 2nd type of conditional sentence is related to the sentences expressing conditions that are POSSIBLE but NOT PROBABLE. (If + Past Simple, would)
    the 1st type is for the sentences expressing a condition that is POSSIBLE and likely to happen. (If + Present, will Future)
    there's even another type called UNIVERSAL TRUTHS or zero type conditional (If+ Present, Present)

    i hope it can help somehow
     

    jimmyb

    Member
    United Kingdom
    "and i guess if i had been able to have a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home"


    this is perfectly fine.

    "and I guess if I would have been able .."

    the Americans use this form more than us Brits
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi, thanks for correcting my spelling mistakes, i would have never known how to write it properly.
    a 3rd type of conditional sentence is related to the sentences expressing conditions in the past. IMPOSSIBLE. (If + Past Perfect, would have + past participle)
    a 2nd type of conditional sentence is related to the sentences expressing conditions that are POSSIBLE but NOT PROBABLE. (If + Past Simple, would)
    the 1st type is for the sentences expressing a condition that is POSSIBLE and likely to happen. (If + Present, will Future)
    there's even another type called UNIVERSAL TRUTHS or zero type conditional (If+ Present, Present)

    i hope it can help somehow
    Thanks for the clear explanations, Mallavia. Before trying to apply them to the original recorded
    speech, let's look at that original sentence, and try to be sure we agree about the intentions of the speaker.


    "and I guess if i had have been able to have had a child in my 30s i would have been able to saty at home"

    And I guess [speculation about a possibility]
    If I had have been able {Yes, it's badly stated, but the intent is clear: If things were to have been a certain way. This strikes me as possibly past subjunctive—contrary to fact— but if you want to treat it as conditional, I won't argue. }
    I would have been able to stay at home" [statement of possibility, if certain conditions were met.]

    The speaker clearly considers both the stage-setting "If I had have been able" and the resulting outcome, "I would have been able" to be possible.
    3rd type of conditional sentence is related to the sentences expressing conditions in the past. IMPOSSIBLE. (If + Past Perfect, would have + past participle)
    As this seems to apply only to impossible situations, we can discard it in looking at the original sentence.

    2nd type of conditional sentence is related to the sentences expressing conditions that are POSSIBLE but NOT PROBABLE. (If + Past Simple, would)
    This may fit, but I have no way of knowing the probability of the conditions or event described in the quote.

    That would lead us to suggest something like, " I guess that if I had been able....I would have...."

    I am perfectly willing to accept this as less convoluted and more clear. It may be the way we are taught to write, but it is not reflective of the way many people speak.

     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, Cuchuflete's is an American usage and one which, in my view, would not be considered "correct" in BE. Some may disagree.

    I would say: If I had been able to have a child...
     

    ShelbyAnne

    New Member
    EE.UU, English
    Talking with a girl from York, England I've heard such a sentence

    "and I guess if i had have been able to have had a child in my 30s i would have been able to saty at home"



    I guess if I had been able to have a child in my 30s, I would have been able to stay at home.

    had been = past
    able = verb
    have been = would have happened + verb (able to)

    Native American English Speaker & English Student Tutor & Studying Spanish :)

    Hope this helps. It is correct this way.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Why did she say:
    "and I guess if i had have been able to have had a child in my 30s

    She thought she was being very correct.
    She knew that what she wanted to say sounded like "... if I'd've been ...".
    She spoke carefully and said "... if I had have been ..."
    (Many others would have spoken carefully and said "... if I had of been ...")
    But she had mis-corrected.

    Was it correct?
    No.
     

    Dimmas

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you everybody for giving me comments to my question! It seems I entirely understood why she had said so. But I supposed she was a native speaker. Do native speakers admit such phrases in their speech?

    2 winklepicker: I followed your link and read about usage of “might” and “may” but could not understand how it can be applied in this case. What did you mean?

    Thank you very much indeed! Dimmas.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    2 winklepicker: I followed your link and read about usage of “might” and “may” but could not understand how it can be applied in this case. What did you mean?
    Veree sorree! It was nothing to do with the topic - just a regular difficulty in these forums.
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    "and I guess if I would have been able to have had a child in my 30s i would have been able to saty at home"

    If we just assume that the person meant to write "I would have been..." then I think we get to the real meat of the problem. "Have had a child" seems to me completely out of place. The...er...what's the name of it in English? The passato remoto (distant past) doesn't seem justified at all by a regular past that is set ahead of it...unless of course the person is talking about the staying home in her 40s or her 50s. The had sounds perfectly fine if something like "...in my 40s" is appended to the end of the sentence.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Yes, Dimmas, native speakers do use such phrases. They are not "correct", however. Don't use them in an exam!
    I think I should confess. When I first fell over this topic I could not see anything wrong with this.

    I guess if I had have been able to have had a child in my 30s I would have been able to stay at home.

    :eek:

    Luckily, Panj posted before I had time to make a fool of myself by claiming that it was perfectly correct. I always check my facts before disagreeing with Panj.
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    I think I should confess. When I first fell over this topic I could not see anything wrong with this.

    I guess if I had have been able to have had a child in my 30s I would have been able to stay at home.

    :eek:

    Luckily, Panj posted before I had time to make a fool of myself by claiming that it was perfectly correct. I always check my facts before disagreeing with Panj.
    The thing that struck me right away about it was that the person was using a hell of a lot of complicated verb constructions to have been saying something that could have been said with words that might have not been being quite so convoluted. :D
     

    Dimmas

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you very much indeed but I'm a little bit confused because the several sentences were written here. Some people have not finished their sentences other seems not to have been sure if it was correct. Will you be so kind as to pick out the right sentences from those that existed here?

    1. "and i guess if i had been able to have a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home"

    2. ”and i guess if i had had a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home”

    3. “and I guess if I would have been able to have had a child in my 30s I would have been able to stay at home”

    4. If I would have had a baseball bat in my hand, I would have had an opportunity to swing at the pitch.

    5. “If I could have had a child in my 30s I could have stayed at home.”

    6. “If I had been able to have a child...” (May I continue?)
    6.1 “I had been able to have to stay at home”
    6.2 “I would be able to stay at home”
    6.3 “I would have been able to stay at home”

    Yours faithfully, Dimmas.
     

    patuliac

    Member
    English, USA
    Thank you very much indeed but I'm a little bit confused because the several sentences were written here. Some people have not finished their sentences other seems not to have been sure if it was correct. Will you be so kind as to pick out the right sentences from those that existed here?

    1. "and i guess if i had been able to have a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home"
    correct

    2. ”and i guess if i had had a child in my 30s i could have stayed at home”
    also correct, but different (implies not having a child was her choice, she could have but decided not to)

    3. “and I guess if I would have been able to have had a child in my 30s I would have been able to stay at home”
    correct, though a bit cumbersome


    4. If I would have had a baseball bat in my hand, I would have had an opportunity to swing at the pitch.
    sounds like a truism! correct. also cumbersome. I can imagine someone telling an impassioned story like this, but not an ordinary conversation. perhaps, "I could have swung at the pitch" sounds more fluid.


    5. “If I could have had a child in my 30s I could have stayed at home.”
    also OK. means different things.

    6. “If I had been able to have a child...” (May I continue?)
    6.1 “I had been able to have to stay at home” no. no good. shouldn't use had twice. :) And if you say 'able to have to' it sounds bizarre. if you were forced to do something (have to) why would you talk about being able to be forced to do something? Unless you wanted to anyway I guess :)
    6.2 “I would be able to stay at home” this one's fine.
    6.3 “I would have been able to stay at home” even better!

    Yours faithfully, Dimmas.
     

    Dimmas

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Dear Patuliac!

    Excuse my being mistaken in item 6.1. It occurred when I do “copy/past” operation.
    Your comment made me to apply to grammar of past conditionals and I found some interesting things I hadn’t known before.
    This is what I found:

    FORM
    [If ... PAST PERFECT ..., ... would have + PAST PARTICIPLE ... ]
    or
    [... would have + PAST PARTICIPLE ... if ...
    PAST PERFECT ...]


    Now I think I entirely understand the topic.
    In my case it would be correct to say:

    "And I guess if I had been able to have a child in my 30s I would have been able to stay at home"

    Thank you very much indeed.
    You were very helpful to me.

    Yours faithfully. Dimmas.
     

    patuliac

    Member
    English, USA
    Dear Patuliac!

    In my case it would be correct to say:

    "And I guess if I had been able to have a child in my 30s I would have been able to stay at home"

    Yours faithfully. Dimmas.
    I'm very glad to have been of help!

    The way you put it above seems fine, yes. :)
    The more words you use, it seems to me, the less certain you sound and the more it sounds like you are musing on what might be utterly impossible. But sometimes thinking about impossibilities is exactly what people are doing!

    -patuliac
     

    Anglik7

    New Member
    English
    Sorry to bump this old thread, but I wanted to address Patuliac's remarks.

    1: Correct.
    2: Correct.
    3: Cumbersome and incorrect: you can't put "if" and "would" together in the same clause.
    4: Incorrect: you can't put "if" and "would" together in the same clause.
    5: Correct.
    6: Correct.
    6.1: Totally incorrect and very confused.
    6.2: Correct.
    6.3: Correct.

    Dimmas highlights the general (very simple!!!) rule of not putting "if" and "would" together when giving the FORM above.
     

    naplb

    Member
    English - Australia
    Talking with a girl from York, England I've heard such a sentence

    "and I guess if i had have been able to have had a child in my 30s i would have been able to saty at home"

    I think it's overload. Can you explain me why she used "had have been able"?
    Was it correct?

    Thanks in advance!

    Dimmas.
    This would be entirely correct spoken Australian English as well. In the UK it varies, but in Australia it's entirely standard (100% usage in spoken language) to use the special subjunctive "had've + past participle" when talking about a third conditional.

    For Australians, a sentence like, "If I would've known..." sounds wrong. Not uneducated, but wrong. Most Australians don't realise it exists in other dialects, and if they hear you say it they will assume you've made an error.
    "If I had've known..." is the standard way of speaking in Australia, and also very common in writing. Most Australians think it's standard, and so won't correct it.
    Some grammarians consider this to be a past subjunctive form of the verb "have":
    If I + had've + past participle, I would have + past participle.

    That is, had (+ past participle) would be equivalent to Spanish había
    had've
    would be equivalent to Spanish hubiera
    and would have to habría
    Spoken English needed a subjunctive, so we invented one.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Unashamedly bumping this old thread to add evidence that the non-standard third conditional (If I'd have + past participle) mentioned by naplb has been around in spoken BE for quite some time.
    This is from a novel first published in 1913:
    “But she’s been attending the doctor in Nottingham—and she never told me,” he said.

    If I’d have been at home,” said Annie, “I should have seen for myself.”
    Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
     
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