hadn't done or hadn't have done?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by cmyxwjs, Jul 13, 2018.

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  1. cmyxwjs New Member

    I read a sentence in a dialogue script. A man was explaining to his lawyer why he punched a stranger (because the stranger was harassing the man's girlfriend). In the dialogue, the man said:

    "If I hadn't have done that, who knows what he may have done to my girlfriend."

    I think this is a subjunctive sentence, because he was saying something that was the opposite of what happened (as he did punch the stranger). But my question is, why did he use "If I hadn't have done" here? I thought for past subjunctive, you say "If I had done..., I would have done..." So why it's "If I hadn't have done" instead of "If I hadn't done" here? Is there any difference between the two expressions?

    Thank you in advance for your help!
  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    It's non-standard - "have" is superfluous. You will hear it a lot in casual BE speech.

    I'll see whether I can find some previous threads on the topic:).

    Edit: Hadn't of said that?
  3. cmyxwjs New Member

    Thanks a lot:thumbsup: So in this case, the more standard expression should be "If I hadn't done it, who knows what he may have done...", but "If I hadn't have done it" is also acceptable in colloquial English. Is that correct?
  4. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    I agree that it isn't standard English, but it is used. You'll hear it in colloquial English, but it doesn't appear in standard written English. My advice is not to use it, because it may lead people to think that you know English less well than you do.

    Often people say 'hadn't of' instead of 'hadn't have'. The link above discusses that version.

    It is difficult to search for threads on 'haven't have', but here are two:

    Further comments and questions may be added to that thread.
    I'll close this one.

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