Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Today we’re diving into some high-level English grammar!

Would you have done things differently in the past?

In today’s episode, you will learn two ways you can use the phrase ‘would have.’

This is very useful in business English.

Listen in and learn about a common mistake made by native English speakers you should avoid.

Keeping promises

Lindsay shares that she has always made good on her promises.

‘Making good’ is a very native English phrase that means you did what you said you would do.

It means you have kept your promise and taken action.

It means a lot to our loved ones when we follow through with our promises.

Aubrey recently promised her kids that if they didn’t cry when they got their vaccines, they would get ice cream.

Despite being late to their next activity, because she had promised her kids ice cream, they went to an ice cream parlor.

In today’s episode, the All Ears English team will make good on their promise to teach listeners how to use ‘would have.’

This is a continuation of episode AEE 1919: You Will Have Mastered Future Perfect English Grammar by the End of this Episode.

This is the second part of their answer to a listener question.

Two ways to use ‘would have

There are two ways you can use the phrase ‘would have.’

We’ll share the grammar for both today.

You’ll also get example sentences and a roleplay to help you know how to use this.

#1: Past tense of ‘will have’

We use this to talk about something that would usually happen by a certain time.

This is not the most common way to use ‘would have.’

I called at 8:00 a.m. because I knew he would’ve woken by then.
It was 10:00 a.m. Mom would’ve downed three cups of coffee by now.

‘Downed’ means to drink.

Native English speakers are sometimes hesitant to use the past participle ‘drunk’ because it makes them seem like they drank alcohol.

It’s their way of finding a way around saying ‘drunk.’

#3: Something that did not happen in the past but could have

This is the most common construction you will hear.

Native English speakers often make mistakes with this.

You should be using ‘would have’ in the third conditional structure.

This grammar requires present perfect.

If you had asked me to be there, I would have come.
If you had told me about the party, I wouldn’t have missed it.

The common mistake is using ‘would have’ twice instead of present perfect.

For example: “If you would have asked me to be there, I would have come.”

This is a mistake and some may not know it’s incorrect.


It is important you use correct grammar at work.

When you are doing a presentation or preparing reports that require you to compare past figures, it’s important you use the right grammar to communicate at work.

Here is a quick roleplay to show you how this works in the business world.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are work colleagues and they are debriefing about a lost account.

Lindsay: I think if the sales call had gone better, we would have gotten that account.
Aubrey: I agree. If we had eliminated a few slides that were less pertinent, our message would have been clearer.
Lindsay: Definitely! Also, it would have been more effective if we had emphasized the long-term savings our software can provide.

The bonus word ‘pertinent’ was used in this roleplay.

This means something is relevant or applicable to a particular matter.


Using the third conditional is very useful, especially in business English.

Using the correct grammar makes your point clearer and allows you to connect better, especially in the business world.

You may hear native English speakers making mistakes.

Now that you understand this high-level grammar, you can avoid these mistakes.

What is a common grammar mistake you often hear from native English speakers?

Leave a comment below and we may make an episode about it.

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