In English one can say, "I would have had", which is a bit different than saying "I would have". How do you construct the two in German?

  • 5
    I object against closing this question. It is a question about German grammar. The question uses an English construction to make clear what is being asked for. Imho, it is not a translation service request, and it is a misunderstanding to perceive it as such. I don't believe the guidelines should be interpreted in a way that would lead to closing. And either way, I believe we should be open to such questions. Sep 19, 2020 at 20:40
  • Could you add one or two examples with full sentences, including the if clause? I think there is no direct equivalent to this in German, and the way to translate this would depend on context. "If I had talked to my ex at the party, I would have had been married to someone else for two years by then" is quite a different use from "If you had been at the party, we would have had met there."
    – HalvarF
    Sep 19, 2020 at 20:42
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    For anyone who is as confused about this as I was, see this English grammar page. An example (from there): “I would have had a puppy if only my parents had thought I was responsible.” Third conditional for English is explained here, the only difference here is that "have" is the main verb as well as being an auxiliary verb.
    – RDBury
    Sep 19, 2020 at 21:39
  • @HalvarF -- I think I know what you're going for with "I would have had been married to someone else...," but such a strain on grammar would require a rephrase to keep everyone's heads from exploding. "If I had talked to my ex at the party, I would have been, at that time, married to someone else for two years."
    – RDBury
    Sep 19, 2020 at 22:21
  • You would get a better sense if you could do without ambiguous "have". Do you really need two haves? Any other way you can construct the meaning? Because in "I would have had a pet" the second have is not the auxiliary verb but the actual to have as in owning. Sep 20, 2020 at 6:21

2 Answers 2


You could use a form with "würde" or (rather seldom, somewhat dialect) "täte":

Ich würde es gemacht haben, wenn man mich gefragt hätte.

meaning "I would have had done it, had I been asked". This is expressing a past conditional.

But in most cases one would not differentiate this and would just say

Ich hätte es gemacht, wenn man mich gefragt hätte.

literally: "I would have done it, had I been asked."

  • Thats what I was confused about a bit, isn't Ich hätte gemacht and Ich würde gemacht haben, essentially I would have? So in general isnt Plusquamperfekt and Futur 2 in Konjuntiv 2 the same? But in English I would say there is a subtle difference between I would have and I would have had. Sep 19, 2020 at 15:12
  • Would you please consider community guidelines? This is obviously a translation service request.
    – Olafant
    Sep 19, 2020 at 18:13
  • @Olafant I consider this a question about grammar nuances in German. I cannot recognize a translation service request and in my humble opinion your claim is by no means "obvious". Sep 19, 2020 at 20:37
  • "Ich würde es gemacht haben, " sounds just wrong for "Ich hätte es gemacht". Sep 20, 2020 at 6:17
  • "I would have had done it" I think you confuse the auxiliary verb here. The second have sounds like having someone else do it? Sep 20, 2020 at 6:18

I'd translate “I would have” as “Ich hätte” or rarely “Ich würde haben” and “I would have had” as “Ich hätte gehabt” or rarely “Ich würde gehabt haben”.

  • why did this answer get so many down votes? Sep 20, 2020 at 6:22
  • I don't know, I think the other answerer didn't really understand the question. English doesn't have a "I would have had done it" verb tense.
    – altermetax
    Sep 21, 2020 at 12:10
  • BTW, "gehabt haben" is something that contemporary Germans find funny. We can construct these meanings, but we chuckle, and some people say it's wrong. Sep 21, 2020 at 16:27

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