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#56109 - 02/09/02 08:05 PM Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
Pivetta Offline

Registered: 02/09/02
Posts: 2
Sometimes I hear well-spoken people say, "I wish I *would have* known." Is this grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be, "I wish I *had* known"?

#56110 - 02/09/02 08:53 PM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
GallantTed Offline

Registered: 11/07/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Ireland
Howya Pivetta

I'm probably not the best one ta be welcomen ya, but there doesn't seem ta be anyone else around.

There's usually loads of brainy people here what can answer yer questions.

I'm not so sure meself and at furst glance I'd say yer right ta question "I wish I would have known".

On the other hand, ya always say "I wish I were" in the conditional so mabee it's a folly on from that or somethin.

I can't be knowen meself, but I'm sure someone will help ya soon.

Be seein ya

GallantTed - yer trouble shooten, problem solven Teddy Bear.

PS - what's anarcho-capitalism? Can bears catch it?

#56111 - 02/09/02 09:21 PM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Pivetta: I have forgotten all the grammar I once knew, and all our experts must be watching the Olympics. I would never use the "would" in your example. "I wish I could have known.." seems OK, or simpler "I wish I had known."

#56112 - 02/09/02 09:32 PM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

#56113 - 02/09/02 10:39 PM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
slithy toves Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
Dear Pivetta,

I'm a stranger here myself, and I hope you will be made to feel as welcome as I have.

"If I had known" is the way to go in the subordinate clause. "Would have" sounds right in the main clause. It has to do with what happened first and what came later.

#56114 - 02/10/02 08:06 AM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
"I wish I *would have* known." ... "I wish I *had* known"?

See this http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/aue/tense.html for a glimpse into the wonderful world of nuance the English language is capable of.

#56115 - 02/10/02 09:14 AM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Welcome to the Board Pivetta!
For what it's worth, when I am truly rueful I say :
"I wish I'd've known" which, I guess, is a contraction of "I wish I would have known" ... it's all too complicated, this language of "ours!"
I tend to go with what sounds right but I wish I'd paid more attention in school.

Tsuwm will help you out ... now that he is no longer hiding his brilliant light under a barrel! (See "a nother promise" thread in Information and Announcements)

#56116 - 02/10/02 05:23 PM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
A hearty welcome to you, Pivetta! I'd sort of thought that 'I had known' was correct, and the other a sloppy but common idiom. Apparently I was wrong.
Looked at your bio, Sweetie--you seem to have enough quirkiness to fit right in here! Re: your special interest, musick likes baseball pretty well, but you really ought to check in with AnnaStrophic and Faldage, for some real die-hard fan discussion. Just a suggestion.

#56117 - 02/10/02 08:23 PM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
hev Offline

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 477
Loc: Sydney, Australia
"I wish I *had* known"

This one gets my vote, Pivetta.

While we are at it, you get my WELCOME and MaxQ gets my hearty thanks for expressing how I feel about this site:

I have stayed out of this thread to date because my grasp of grammar isn't worth ...(read MaxQ's post for the rest) ... ask more questions - that way I can learn vicariously.

Glad you're (both) here


"no longer a stranger..."

#56118 - 02/10/02 10:07 PM Re: Past Conditional for Subjunctive?
Bobyoungbalt Offline

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
Welcome Pivetta!

Fans of mystery novels (I am one) refer to the "Had-I-But-Known School" of mystery writing, the greatest practitioner of which was Mary Roberts Rinehart. That's a rather old-fashioned way of expressing the same thing.


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