‘If I would have’ is never correct
- On June 14, 2017
“Sorry folks, but if I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes, I would have had ZERO chance winning WH,” President Trump tweeted last week, mangling the verb tense in the first part of his rant—among other offenses.
Putting fake news to the side, for one, Mr. Trump should have started by saying, If I had relied on CNN, NBC, ABC—not would have relied.
Trump was trying to use the past unreal conditional, a two-part construction that describes a hypothetical event that did not happen, but if it had, never would have, a hypothetical result would—or would not—have ensued.
Trump would have been correct—at least grammatically—if he had said, If I had relied on what CNN, NBC, and ABC were reporting, I would not have won the White House.
With this mistake, Mr. Trump is a repeat offender.