I cannot understand the following sentence on this content. Please help...

"it would've had to have really lived for it to have died."

What Do I Do If I'm Newly Single? I Just Between Us https://youtu.be/tSxcAz9Udm8

I guess that this is kind of a joke, but I cannot get it at all...

Below is the transcript from YouTube.

Allison: Think I should get a haircut?
Gaby: Like a trim?
Allison: No, like I'm thinking I would chop it all off at home.
Gaby: With- with what?
Allison: Like a razor blade.
Allison: This week's question should apply to everyone! How do you handle being newly single in Los Angeles uh, from Allison in Los Angeles.
Gaby: That's just you.
Allison: Could be another Allison who recently had her heart broken.
Gaby: Mm, I don't think it is. You're literally wearing black like you're at a funeral for your love life.
Allison: Well, it would've had to have really lived for it to have died, right?

2 Answers 2


It's a nice joke.

It (=love) would have had to have really lived

It's an example of the third conditional which is used to describe events that never happened. Allison is saying she was never in love, she didn't experience (true) love in her life.

for it (=love) to have died

is similar to for it to die but with the perfect infinitive (to have died). It's needed because she is still in the context of an unrealistic situation (her being in love). She basically meant "something that never existed can't die".

  • It is really helpful. I understand this is an example of the third condition. Then, I have an additional question. Why does Allison use - would "had to" have really lived instead of - would have really lived? I don't understand why "had to" is used. Feb 23, 2021 at 9:08
  • 1
    @KenjiKajiwara it's just a word choice I think, "needed to" would be similar to "had to" Feb 23, 2021 at 15:43
  • Perfect! Thanks a lot!!! Feb 24, 2021 at 2:44

Alison is referring to her love life as if it were a person.

She is saying she isn't in mourning, because her love life never actually lived. If it didn't live, it can't die, so her wearing black doesn't mean anything in particular.

By saying that her love life never actually lived, it is a way of saying that she's never really had a love life. This is a dramatic way of saying that she hasn't had many real dates or relationships.

All of this is meant humorously. It's an example of exaggeration for effect.

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