if + PAST PERFECT + MODAL VERBS

C1 point 112 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as:

Conditional subordinate clauses with ‘if’ + the past perfect simple and modal verb + ‘have’ + ‘-ed’ in the main clause, to talk about imagined situations in the past, often with regret.


*Note the same definition with ‘would‘ is listed at B1!  Basically, this means that for this to be C1, it can’t contain ‘would’.

iWeb doesn’t allow long searches such as:

_VM have_VVN * if * had _VVN

So we can start this with half the search and then manually look through the data for the other half.

1 IF I HAD KNOWN 3261

If I had known where you were, I might have told her.

listen

(most of these are ‘as if’) 2 IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED 1126

3 IF YOU HAD ASKED 1069
4 IF YOU HAD TOLD 941

If I had known, if you had told me, I could have hit that column before they ever made it to us.

listen

5 IF I HAD GONE 828
6 IF I HAD SEEN 745
7 IF HE HAD KNOWN 640
8 IF I HAD USED 612
9 IF I HAD TAKEN 608
10 IF HE HAD SAID 554
11 IF I HAD MADE 553
12 IF THEY HAD KNOWN 522
13 IF SOMEONE HAD TOLD 464
14 IF THIS HAD HAPPENED 455
15 IF WE HAD KNOWN 442
16 IF YOU HAD READ 441
17 IF I HAD TRIED 421
18 IF I HAD GOTTEN 421
19 IF HE HAD SEEN 406
20 IF IT HAD HAPPENED 403
21 IF YOU HAD SAID 395
22 IF I HAD READ 366
23 IF HE HAD TAKEN 366
24 IF I HAD STAYED 360
25 IF THEY HAD SEEN 352
26 IF I HAD WANTED 349
27 IF I HAD BOUGHT 349
28 IF YOU HAD USED 333
29 IF YOU HAD BOUGHT 318
30 IF YOU HAD TAKEN 314
31 IF I HAD SAID 313
32 IF I HAD THOUGHT 301
33 IF HE HAD LIVED 297
34 IF YOU HAD KNOWN 294
35 IF HE HAD GONE 284
36 IF THEY HAD TAKEN 277
37 IF THAT HAD HAPPENED 271
38 IF WE HAD USED 264
39 IF HE HAD STAYED 262
40 IF WE HAD GONE 261
41 IF I HAD ASKED 259
42 IF I HAD FOUND 253
43 IF I HAD WAITED 249
44 IF IT HAD GONE 249
45 IF YOU HAD SEEN 244
46 IF IT HAD COME 240

47 IF YOU HAD INVESTED 236 

The following example is B1 because it uses ‘would’

 

48 IF HE HAD MADE 232
49 IF I HAD PAID 229
50 IF I HAD WRITTEN 225
51 IF HE HAD HEARD 205
52 IF I HAD GIVEN 198
53 IF I HAD KEPT 197
54 IF SHE HAD KNOWN 176
55 IF THEY HAD MADE 174
56 IF YOU HAD MADE 171
57 IF THEY HAD GONE 165
58 IF I HAD HEARD 153
59 IF I HAD CHOSEN 146
60 IF I HAD STARTED 145
61 IF YOU HAD GONE 131
62 IF THEY HAD USED 130
63 IF HE HAD WANTED 130
64 IF I HAD PUT 118
65 IF THEY HAD STAYED 114
66 IF I HAD LEFT 114
67 IF YOU HAD PURCHASED 109
68 IF HE HAD USED 109
69 IF GOD HAD WANTED 106
70 IF WE HAD TAKEN 105
71 IF THEY HAD COME 104
72 IF YOU HAD CHOSEN 103
73 IF HE HAD PLAYED 103
74 IF I HAD CONTINUED 102
75 IF THEY HAD RECEIVED 99
76 IF YOU HAD PAID 97
77 IF THEY HAD HEARD 97
78 IF THEY HAD CHOSEN 96
79 IF I HAD SPENT 95
80 IF HE HAD COME 94
81 IF THINGS HAD GONE 94
82 IF SOMEONE HAD SAID 92
83 IF I HAD TOLD 92
84 IF HE HAD GOTTEN 92
85 IF I HAD LISTENED 92
86 IF YOU HAD PUT 91
87 IF I HAD LET 89
88 IF THEY HAD KEPT 88


*We have deleted ‘would’ results.

4 MAY HAVE NOTICED 20383
6 MAY HAVE HEARD 17388
7 MAY HAVE SEEN 15937
10 COULD HAVE MADE 13815
12 SHOULD HAVE KNOWN 12941
13 COULD HAVE GONE 12427
15 COULD HAVE USED 11349
20 MAY HAVE MISSED 9936
23 MUST HAVE COMPLETED 8677
24 MAY HAVE COME 8493
25 MAY HAVE CHANGED 8445
26 MAY HAVE MADE 8363
27 COULD HAVE GOTTEN 7940
29 COULD HAVE HAPPENED 7231
30 MAY HAVE TAKEN 7161

31 MAY HAVE CAUSED 7038 

*not one example in 1000 lines (checked manually) match our grammar!

33 COULD HAVE TAKEN 6711
34 SHOULD HAVE TAKEN 6706
35 COULD HAVE IMAGINED 6690
36 MAY HAVE FOUND 6664
37 SHOULD HAVE GONE 6439
39 SHOULD HAVE MADE 6207
40 MIGHT HAVE NOTICED 6193
43 MIGHT HAVE SEEN 6136
48 MIGHT HAVE MADE 5866
50 SHOULD HAVE SAID 5760
51 MIGHT HAVE MISSED 5723
56 SHOULD HAVE SEEN 5259
57 COULD HAVE COME 5192
59 MAY HAVE LOST 5035
60 MAY HAVE GOTTEN 5019
61 MIGHT HAVE HEARD 5006
63 MAY HAVE GONE 4983
64 COULD HAVE SAVED 4879

68 MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED 4528

*although ‘may have contributed’ is not in the string of grammar we are searching for, it helped locate the following sentence.

Source http://www.nea.org/tools/16899.htm
Title NEA – Research Spotlight on Academic Ability Grouping

I was acting out because of boredom and my teachers told my mother that I could find 101 things to do with a pencil and writing with it was not one of those things, and it was even suggested that being held back may have contributed to my ADHD. Ability grouping could have greatly benefitted me even if all they had done was technically place me in a higher-grade level... that would have effectively allowed me to continue learning while other students my age caught up to me…


70 MUST HAVE TAKEN 4331
71 MAY HAVE USED 4327
72 MAY HAVE OCCURRED 4307
73 SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED 4276
74 COULD HAVE CAUSED 4267
75 MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT 4265
76 MUST HAVE FELT 4246
82 MAY HAVE HELPED 3987
84 MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED 3940
85 MAY HAVE THOUGHT 3926
88 MIGHT HAVE GONE 3858
90 COULD HAVE SEEN 3674
91 MAY HAVE BECOME 3653
93 MAY HAVE PLAYED 3617
94 MAY HAVE STARTED 3592
95 SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN 3565
98 MIGHT HAVE TAKEN 3495
100 MAY HAVE READ 3476