What Is the Difference between "Would Have" and "Would Have Been"?

by Vivek
(Panipat, India)

What is the difference between "would have" and "would have been"?


"Would have" is used together with a main verb.

When you see "would have" in a sentence it means that the action didn't actually happen, because something else didn't happen first.

Here are some examples (the main verb is bold):

- If I had received the money, I would have given it to you.
(Meaning: I didn't receive the money, so I didn't give it to you.)

- If she had studied for the exam, she would have passed it.
(Meaning: She didn't study for the exam, so she didn't pass it.)

- You would have helped if you had known about the accident.
(Meaning: You didn't know about the accident, so you didn't help.)

Now, you can also use the verb "be" as a main verb after "would have."

Here are some examples (the main verb is bold):

- If they had left earlier, they would have been here already.
(Meaning: They didn't leave earlier, so they are not here now.)

- If John had won the contest, he would have been happier.
(Meaning: John didn't win the contest, so he is not happier now.)

- I would have been a lawyer if I had finished my degree.
(Meaning: I didn't finish my degree, so I am not a lawyer.)

See also English Conditionals.

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