To answer, you would have had to have been able to have answered this question...
October 26, 2009 5:43 PM Subscribe
GrammarFilter: A friend and I have been discussing this construction: "would have had to go" vs. "would have had to have gone." It seems they are both correct and are almost always interchangeable, so it would seem the former, simpler version is preferable. Thoughts, explanations, examples otherwise? Are they both correct?
posted by Badasscommy to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The one case we could think of where the latter form is necessary is something like this: (murder investigation example ;) ) "Were it not for the contrary evidence, he would have had to have done it." In this case, "he would have had to do it" wouldn't make sense.
In a more general case, they seem interchangeable: "If the restaurant closed at nine, we would have had to go already;" "If the restaurant closed at nine, we would have had to have gone already." Are these both correct? They seem so to me, but they do feel different. Only I can't put my finger on it exactly. Is it just the difference between passive and active voice, like "we go" or "we are going?"