Legally, the straightforward thing to do would have been for the Supreme Court to act according to the black and white law, and reinstate Mr. Verma, the CBI Director, and leave it there

What is the structure of "to do would have been"?

  • Do you mean the grammatical structure?
    – BillJ
    Oct 29, 2018 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


The highlighted words to do would have been is not a single clause. The word pair to do belongs to the previous part of the sentence as,

the straightforward thing to do

This can be interpreted as

the straightforward action

The clause would have been is the past conditional perfect tense. It indicates, in this case, an alternative action that the author considers the subject (the Supreme Court) could have taken instead of whatever action they did take in this case.

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