It's correct using would + present indefinite, after

If it hadn't been for

? For to express the action of what is happening now? For example:

If it hadn't been for my parents I wouldn't live now.


If it hadn't been for my parents I wouldn't been have born.

Or use continuous form?

If it hadn't been for my parents I wouldn't living now.


It would be true (and grammatical) for you to say both that:

If it hadn't been for my parents

....I wouldn't HAVE BEEN born

referring to an action in the past that marked the start of your life


....I wouldn't BE living now

referring to the continuing consequence of your having been born.

Note the changes to your examples.

Although you might have said:

I wouldn't live now

The continuous form (be living now) is more natural in this context as you are still living.

In general, we use the present continuous to talk about what we are doing now/today/soon/in the future, as in:

I am going to the shops/going swimming/going home/going to France next year

We use the simple present to talk about our habits, routines:

I go to the shops/swim/practise twice a week.

  • What tense would you use with the verb "exist" instead of "live"?
    – V.V.
    Mar 9 '18 at 18:09
  • @V.V. Depends on the context. Robinson Crusoe might well have said: I am existing in dreadful circumstances. Rene Descartes might have said: I exist; therefore I am. Mar 9 '18 at 20:50

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