# I would have told him if I <had seen, saw> him

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#### bling boy

##### Member
Good Afternoon everyone,

What would be the most appropriate:

I would have told him if I had seen him or:
I would have told him if I saw him?

I understand that when using the conditional tense and if its a probability then you would use:

If and will, however, if its an improbability then it would be:

If and would

but, I believe that the Present Perfect tense you must use has/have + the Past Participle, therefore, the rule of the conditional by using: saw would be invalid, however, it looks and sounds incorrect, which means that I AM CONFUSED!

Any assistance in the matter would help clairfy things,

Thank you,

BB

##### New Member
Hi Bling boy,

you are talking about something that didn't happen in the past - you didn't see him, so therefore, you didn't tell him. This is the third conditional and the structure is as folows:

subject + would + have + past participle + if + subject + past perfect.

for example: I would have told him if I had seen him.

You can also switch the clauses around and say it like this:

If I had seen him I would have told him.

In third person this phrase would be: She would have told him if she had seen him.

I hope that helps.

#### bling boy

##### Member

Thank you very much for clarifying this grammar aspect as it becomes quite confusing!

Am I correct in saying, however, that you have three conditionals?

Conditional 1: a probability
Conditianal 2: Improbability
Conditional 3: Using Wish

Or is there a simpler way of remembering the rules?

BB

##### New Member
Hi Bling Boy,

the basic rules are as follows:

1st Conditional: 50% possibility. Talking about the future.

Using if + present simple + will/can/shall/may + infinitive verb

If it rains I will/can/shall/may stay at home.

2nd Conditional: 10% possibility. Talking about the future.

Using if + past simple + would/could/might + infinitive verb

If I won the lottery I would/could/might buy a yacht and sail around the world.

3rd Conditional: 0% possibility. Talking about the past.

Using if + past perfect + would/could/might + have + past participle.