Chuck never in a million years would've given to Jimmy. (from Better Call Saul which is tv series)

What is the meaning of this sentence ?

1-He didn't give but he would.

2-He didn't give and he wouldn't.

3-He did give but he wouldn't.

4-He did give and he would.

I am confused with the "negative would have forms" . Is it imagine situation in the past (=that didnt happen) like "would have done" forms ?

About context : Jimmy's brother(Chuck) died and gave nothing to Jimmy but Chuck's friend is trying to give something to Jimmy and someone in the room says :"Chuck never in a million years would've given to Jimmy." . I think the answer is obviously 2 but how could we know the correct answer if there were no background informations ?

  • Could you please tell us the source of that sentence? Also, please describe the context in which it was used. – userr2684291 Aug 15 '18 at 0:39

There is a particular meaning of this sentence that is lost without some background information, however a general answer can still be given.

To start, let's eliminate some of the extraneous information to simplify the sentence:

He never would have done it.

Such a sentence is grammatical on its own, but it lacks reference to understand its actual meaning. There are two broader contexts in which it could fit:

A: (Unlike some other people), he never would have done it.

Here, he wouldn't have done it and, unlike somebody else who did (I am inferring), he didn't do it.

This equates to your second option.

But we can also look at the sentence in this way:

B1: He never would have done it (had it not been for what happened).
B2: He never would have done it. (But then the unthinkable happened.)

Here, it's saying that he never would have done it—up until something occurred when things changed, resulting in him doing it after all.

This roughly equates to your third option, except that it needs to be rephrased:

He did give but he wouldn't have until then.

So, returning to your actual question, unless we have more context from the Better Call Saul episode, it's impossible to say if Chuck actually did give something to Jimmy or not.

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