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As you know the following sentences have the same meaning.

Had they had any savings they didn't need, they would've re-paid their son's student loan.

If they had had any savings they didn't need, they would've re-paid their son's student loan.

I would like to know can we apply the first sentence structure to different condition sentences/tenses.

For example :

If I had any savings, I would pay my son's student loan.

Can I say:

Have I had any savings, I would pay my son's student loan.

I mean can we make sentences with if by placing the auxiliary verb at the beginning of sentence without implying differently in different tenses.

( I can change the title if you have another idea)

  • 1
    "Had I any savings, I would pay..." "If I had any savings I would pay..." – Jim Jan 26 '15 at 23:44
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  • Had they had any savings they didn't need, they would've re-paid their son's student loan.
  • If they had had any savings they didn't need, they would've re-paid their son's student loan.

Can I say:

Have I had any savings, I would pay my son's student loan.

If you look at the first two examples, you'll notice that they both use two 'had's. In the first example, we see subject-auxiliary inversion to show that the clause is subordinate, instead of using if. In old-fashioned style English, main verb HAVE is sometimes used as an auxiliary. This means we can use it to make questions and negatives and it can be used to form question tags for sentences using present simple or past simple verb forms instead of using the auxiliary DO:

  • Have we any eggs?
  • We haven't any eggs.
  • We have eggs, haven't we?

We can also use the verb HAVE as an auxiliary verb in the Original Poster's example. We simply need to invert, change the order, of the subject and have. If we do this we don't use if. Notice too, that we don't need to add an auxiliary here. The 'main verb', have, actually is an auxiliary in this situation:

  • Had I any savings, I would pay my son's student loan.

However! when you're learning English, it is very important to understand that main verb have does NOT usually behave like an auxiliary verb! Remember to use DO for questions and negatives when you use the past simple or present simple.

Hope this is helpful!

  • 1
    sorry about that I always forget to vote :) you deserve more I love your answers – Mrt Jan 28 '15 at 16:59

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