July 15, 2016
I keep seeing books—library books, published books, books which have presumably been somewhat edited or proofread—whose authors write, “If I would have known, I would have done it differently…” It drives me nuts.
For all you budding authors, please note: It’s
“If I had known, I would have…”
“If I had seen her, I would have avoided her.”
“If Mom had known my friend hated broccoli, she wouldn’t have served it.”
The first part of the sentence uses the Past Perfect tense, and the second part uses the Conditional Perfect.
I’m not going to lie to you: I didn’t remember they were called the Past Perfect Tense and the Conditional Perfect Tense until I looked it up; but I did know how to use them. (Thanks, Mom.)
And now you do, too.