Chapter 1 Common Grammar Mistakes
would have: the don't and the do
In a clause that begins with "if," don't use "would have" in place of
If you HAD gotten here for the afternoon meeting, you could
have brought up your complaint. (not: If you "would have"
gotten here for the afternoon meeting, you could have brought up
If we HAD had a better lead-in from network, it's likely we
could have beaten channel 8. (not: If we "would have" had a
better lead-in from network, it's likely we could have beaten
But after an "if-clause" in the past perfect tense, do use "would
If I had been you, I WOULD HAVE asked the same question of
If he had been chosen to go to Salt Lake City, he WOULD
HAVE been glad to go.
Mrs. B hopes the next time you think about using "would have," you
will hear her voice reminding you when to and when not to.
"Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them
are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the
walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much
the same thing."
--Margaret Chittenden, writer