Today’s grammatical rant: ‘would have’

A friend just brought to my attention the prevalence of the phrase ‘would have’ where ‘had’ would be more appropriate. 

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You mean ‘…if I had not joined…’

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You mean ‘Wish I had joined…’

To say you ‘would have’ done something in the past expresses an action you might have taken if, for instance, your circumstances had been different or if additional information had been available. It should be preceded or followed by that information, for example, ‘If I hadn’t been so lazy I would have joined track when I was a freshman.’ The sentence in the image above is basically saying ‘I wish that I’d regretted (for no known reason) not joining track when I was a freshman.’

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