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Why would I do that?

Why would I have done that?

as far as I think why would I do that implies my friend's accusing me of doing something that I didn't do So I'd say Why would I do that? (what reason I had to do that)

2nd case (why would I have done that) If it's clear that I haven't done that

the other person knows it then I'd say why would I have done that (would have implies that it never happened but if it did what would be the reason. or what would have been the reason if I had done that)

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The reality is actually fairly straight-forward. Using just 'would' focuses on a current or near-future thought process underlying said action. 'Would have' focuses on a past thought process underlying said action. If I was a robber until yesterday, then got hit in the head and suddenly only had philanthropic thoughts, 'would have' would be much more appropriate for the robbery-focused you, and 'would' more appropriate for the new you.

  • why would I do this is used for future? I've often heard people using it for past too. – user82287 Sep 19 '18 at 5:28

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