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    • Join Date: Jul 2005
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    #1

    "would be" vs "would have been"

    Which of the above is correct in the following sentence and why:
    I can not imagine how my life would have been/would be if there was NO internet at all!
    Tia,
    Catherine C.

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    #2

    Re: "would be" vs "would have been"

    "Would have been" refers to your life until now; "would be" refers to the present moment and foreseeable future.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #3

    Re: "would be" vs "would have been"

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine C. View Post
    Which of the above is correct in the following sentence and why:
    I can not imagine how my life would have been/would be if there was NO internet at all!
    Tia,
    Catherine C.
    Note well that even though 'would' is described as the past tense of 'will', it can't be used as a specific, one event past tense without the addition of "have + past participle".

    It can also never function as a past tense of 'will'. Try it yourself and see.

    I will go to the store. ->>>> ? I would go to the store. ?

    I'll have a Pepsi, please. ->>> ? I would have a Pepsi, please. ?

  1. #4

    Re: "would be" vs "would have been"

    By prescriptive grammar, the clause after "would be" should start "if there were (subjunctive)..." . Many native speakers don't know this, but you could still lose marks for it in an exam, depending on the examiner.

    The clause after "would have been" is "if there had been...".

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    #5

    Re: "would be" vs "would have been"

    It does depend very much on the exam- most ESL exams nowadays accept both as valid forms.

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