Can anybody please explain me the difference between have been and would have been? Please explain me with simple examples. Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    I'm learning English since a decade but still don't know lot of things. Commented May 9, 2015 at 13:10
  • 1
    Same here, even though I have been learning English for two decades :-).
    – Lucky
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


Don't be so hard on yourself. English is very difficult.

This talks about present perfect tense - which have been by itself falls under, and have been by itself can be used to describe an experience:

You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. It is like saying, "I have the experience of..." You can also use this tense to say that you have never had a certain experience. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific event.

Have been + {-ing form of verb} is present perfect continuous tense, which is different. That's used to talk about something that has started at some time in the past and is still ongoing or happening now.

Putting would in front of either of these now says that the action or experience did not happen because of something. Typically a clause will precede or follow explaining why, typically starting with but.

I would have been to Japan, but I was unable to afford the trip.

I hated her guts. I would have otherwise gone to the skating rink.

I would have been going with him, but he sort of creeped me out. So I went with her instead.

We would have ruled the entire kingdom, yet their relentless attacks on our land proved it impossible.


have been is sure whereas would have been shows the possibility.

For example

I have been working hard to get good results.

I would have been working hard if I was in peace.

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