If anyone would have told me

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tagoot

Senior Member
Japanese
<-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->
In the early 1990s, a California family office executive named Patricia Soldano began lobbying on behalf of wealthy families to repeal the tax, which would not only save them money, but also make it easier to preserve their business empires from one generation to the next. <…>

The tax has been restored, but currently applies only to couples leaving roughly $11 million or more to their heirs, up from those leaving more than $1.2 million when Ms. Soldano started her campaign. It affected fewer than 5,200 families last year.

If anyone would have told me we’d be where we are today, I would never have guessed it,” Ms. Soldano said in an interview.


Sorry for the long quotation. This is an excerpt from an NYTIMES article.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/b...ml?emc=edit_na_20151229&nlid=49577756&ref=cta

I do not understand the last sentence. If it was “if anyone had told me “, it makes sense at least grammatically. There remains, however, the following question:

”we’d be where we are today” means the current situation which Ms. Soldano has envisioned and pursued to attain. If so, why would she never have guessed it? Has the situation evolved dramatically beyond her expectation? Is that what this sentence means?

Could someone tell me the grammatical analysis of the sentence and paraphrase it? Thank you in advance.
 
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  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    People say funny things when they're not very used to being interviewed and haven't prepared a speech in advance.

    I think she was aiming at expressing something like this:
    “If anyone had told me we’d be where we are today, I would not have believed them,”
     

    BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The difference is grammar versus what people actually say.
    The proper structure - "Even if someone had told me, I would never have guessed."
    Some people believe that the first clause is conditional and requires a 'would' expression.
    It is the second clause (here) that is conditional and depends on what happened previously.
    If this had happened previously then I would have understood now.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In my experience, this construction is quite common in AE, though not in BE. If I remember correctly, some American contributors have disapproved it in this forum. [Cross-posted with Blueglaze, whose post sounds a bit disapproving ("proper")!]
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If someone had told her, she would not be doing any guessing - she could have believed them or not.:)
    I think that in AE the "If I would have..." construction is accepted by many in speech, if not in formal writing..
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I hear it quite a lot in American TV programmes. Maybe it's one of the ways in which the language is currently changing? If so, I think it's changing in this direction faster in AmE than in BrE: I don't think I've ever heard a BrE-speaker use the construction.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    If so, why would she never have guessed it? Has the situation evolved dramatically beyond her expectation? Is that what this sentence means?
    I think this is a correct understanding.
    'If anybody had told me that I would win the lottery and (would) be very rich today on the lottery I wouldn't have bothered to save for retirement."
    I agree about the AE habit of using the conditional form 'would' in the 'if' clause of unreal conditionals, as well as in the subsequent dependent clause. So far, it isn't noticeable here, thank goodness.
    It could well be the German/Yiddish influence in AE, assuming Yiddish is like German in that respect too.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I hear it quite a lot in American TV programmes. Maybe it's one of the ways in which the language is currently changing? If so, I think it's changing in this direction faster in AmE than in BrE: I don't think I've ever heard a BrE-speaker use the construction.
    I noticed it right away when I moved here from BE land:D I do think it is on the increase, but perhaps just more common in California than back east where I was for a while.
     
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