I'd like to ask you something about a question.

There is the question:

"Don't complain about the heat. It __________ hotter."

And I thought the answer is could have been and it makes sense.

But the answer is could be.

Could you please tell me why the answer is could be?

1 Answer 1


Either is technically correct. The primary difference is one is past tense and while the other is present tense.

In other words:

"Don't complain about the heat. It could have been hotter."

This sentence implies you've since left the hot room, as you're talking about it in the past tense. Rather if you use:

"Don't complain about the heat. It could be hotter."

This sentence is about the current conditions of the room you're in. It stands to reason that if you're complaining about the heat, it is because you're currently hot.

Of course that's just a logical interpretation. You could just as easily complain after having left the room.

  • It could be talking about a room, or it could be talking about the weather. But either way, your answer explains the difference quite well.
    – J.R.
    Jan 16, 2018 at 8:17

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