Having a hard time telling the difference between these, and which ones are wrong.

1) 0.5 seconds later and he would been dead.

2) 0.5 seconds later and he would have been dead.

3) 0.5 seconds later and he would be dead.

Anyone kind enough to explain how to use these 3 forms? Thanks!

  • 2
    #1 is ungrammatical: modals like would must always be followed by a verb in infinitive form (would be or would have been). Dec 17 '18 at 19:47
  • That's what I thought as well, until I saw many examples with "he would been" in here sentence.yourdictionary.com/he-d and now I doubt about everything I know. Dec 17 '18 at 19:55
  • Ah! Your mistake is understanding he'd as he would -- in the instances with a past participle it represents he had. Dec 17 '18 at 19:59
  • I see, that explains it haha, my bad then! Dec 17 '18 at 20:03
  • 2
    @StoneyB I would like to discourage deletion, and instead to encourage one of the two of you to post the explanation about "he'd" as an answer, in case someone makes the same mistake in future. Questions based on misunderstandings can still be useful!
    – Darael
    Dec 17 '18 at 20:29

1) Wrong. One way to explain this is 'been' is the past participle of be and should be followed by modal auxiliaries. Other is after would, a basic form of a verb/ infinitive form should be stated.



Editing to describe the 2nd and 3rd.

2) This outputs an imagination/ assumption about a past incident; 0.5 seconds later, if not for something, he would have been dead. Fortunately, he is not.

3) This is more like an assumption about a present incident. Here, there's a possibility that he is dead after 0.5s.

  • Would you please add examples to further explain #2 and #3? Dec 19 '18 at 13:18
  • Please tell me "would have been " what tense is this ?? Feb 1 '19 at 6:17
  • "would have been " is perfect continuous conditional tense Feb 1 '19 at 11:30

I don't know how late I am, but I want to reply this:

One way to explain this is 'been' is the past participle of be and should be followed by modal auxiliaries.

I think it is easier to explain this by using rule says that 'been' can only be used after 'have' in any form of this verb. That means first sentence is truly wrong.

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