He would have to

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arjun78

Senior Member
India-Hindi
Friends,

'Would have' often confuses me.

For example: They were in trouble. He would have to send them away to a safe place.
He did not have enough money. He would have to get a job.

When I introduce 'would have', does the (past) tense change?

Thanks.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The word have does not belong with would but with to — the verb is to have to do something.

    That use of the word would indicates “future in the past”. At that time (in the past) he would (= was going to) have to do something in the future.
     

    ringu20

    Senior Member
    turkish
    The word have does not belong with would but with to — the verb is to have to do something.

    That use of the word would indicates “future in the past”. At that time (in the past) he would (= was going to) have to do something in the future.
    If we use "would" in future in the past, mustn't the sentence be indirect speech?

    Like,

    "I will go to the cinema."

    "He told he would go to the cinema." or "I knew he would go to the cinema"

    But as far as I know, we CAN'T use "would" like this;

    "I will go to the cinema two hours later"

    "(three hours later) I would go to the cinema but I didn't"

    Isn't the second example of "would" incorrect? Shouldn't we use "would have gone" or "was going to go" in this case?


    By that logic, Wouldn't "would have to" be incorrect in future in the past? Shouldn't we use only "had to"? (as far as I know, we can't also use "would have had to" in this case, we can only use it in the past conditionals of if clauses)
     
    Last edited:

    ringu20

    Senior Member
    turkish
    The future-in-the-past involves the use of "would" or "was/were going to" to refer to the future from the perspective of some point in the past.
    (How to Refer to the Future in the Past in English Grammar)
    So if there was an arranged situation in the past but it didn't happen, we'd use "would have" or "was/were going to" but couldn't use "would".

    But if it was some kind of storytelling and it said something about future, we'd use "would" or "was/were going to" but couldn't use "would have"

    Have I understood it correctly?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    “I would have to do it, if they asked me to” is a 2nd conditional in which would have to do is a conditional form of the verb have in its sense of need/be obliged, which takes the to-infinitive.

    “I would have done it, if they had asked me to” is a 3rd conditional in which would have done is a past conditional form of the verb do.
     

    loviii

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If we use "would" in future in the past, mustn't the sentence be indirect speech?
    At that time ( = It was the time when) he would have to do something in the future.

    "At that time" is enough here to consider the situation from the point of the past.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    ...For example:
    They were in trouble. He would have to send them away to a safe place.
    He did not have enough money. He would have to get a job.

    When I introduce 'would have', does the (past) tense change?
    No, because 'would' is the correct modal for the future in the past tense.
    The modal for the future in the present tense would be 'will':

    They are in trouble. He will have to send them away...
    He does not have enough money. He will have to get a job.

    These examples are both correct as examples of have to (an idiom we use to convey obligation), but not of would + have.

    Examples of would + have, which we use to convey 'unreal meaning', would be:
    "He would have sent them away, but they got arrested."
    "He would have got a job, but he won the lottery."
     

    ringu20

    Senior Member
    turkish
    No, because 'would' is the correct modal for the future in the past tense.
    The modal for the future in the present tense would be 'will':

    They are in trouble. He will have to send them away...
    He does not have enough money. He will have to get a job.

    These examples are both correct as examples of have to (an idiom we use to convey obligation), but not of would + have.

    Examples of would + have, which we use to convey 'unreal meaning', would be:
    "He would have sent them away, but they got arrested."
    "He would have got a job, but he won the lottery."
    So is what I have understood right?

    If there was an arranged situation in the past but it didn't happen, we'd use "would have" or "was/were going to" but couldn't use "would".

    But if it was some kind of storytelling and it said something about future, we'd use "would" or "was/were going to" but couldn't use "would have"
     

    ringu20

    Senior Member
    turkish
    “I would have to do it, if they asked me to” is a 2nd conditional in which would have to do is a conditional form of the verb have in its sense of need/be obliged, which takes the to-infinitive.

    “I would have done it, if they had asked me to” is a 3rd conditional in which would have done is a past conditional form of the verb do.
    OP's examples are not if clauses. I haven't understood why you gave examples of if clauses.
     
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