When should I use "would have to have + verb" and when "would have had to + verb", I assume the second one is a part of third conditional. but when should I use the first one ?

e.g. in these two sentences

He would have had to help me first. (or " I would have had to be helped by him first.")
He would have to have helped me. (or "I would have to have been helped by him.")

Is the second one referring to second conditional? If yes, then how different is its meaning from "He would have to help me" ?

  • 1
    Second is out of tense agreement: imaginary condition and present perfect don't match. Nov 7, 2017 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


Great question! I'd never thought about it before. Here is how I would interpret each sentence:

He would have had to help me first: It was necessary for him to help me first (could mean before he did anything else, or before anyone else helped me).

He would have to have helped me: Evidence points to the fact that he helped me.

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