Home GRAMMAR Could have been/Would have been/Should have been

Could have been/Would have been/Should have been

could have been, would have been, should have been


Could have been…

We use could have been in order to discuss potential possibilities. We can use it to talk about something somebody was capable of doing in the PAST, but didn’t do.

“Could have been” illustrates an opportunity to do an action or become something in the past, but which was not taken. It’s similar to would have been in the way that both of them discuss imaginary situations which did not take place.


It could have been better, if I had been able to be there.
You could have more successful, if you had worked harder.
John could have been free from all debts by now, if he had paid it off earlier.
It could have been more beautiful, if you had decorated it a little bit.
It could have been really a fantastic experience to go to the show, but I was too busy.
She could have been the best performer of all, if she had focused on her goal thoroughly.
He could have been your compatible life partner, only if you had married him.
John Keats could have been even more popular as a Romantic poet, if he had lived longer.
It could have been the better option, but you did not choose it.
We could have been the best friends, if we had not been egoistic.
I could have been working there, if I had been given a chance.
He could have been saved, if doctors had shown a sense of humanity and duty.
If you had helped me then, it could have been very nice.
Why did you go by that way, there could have been a snake!
India’s GDP could have been in double digits, had Covid-19 not been prevalent.
The after-effects of Covid-19 could have been avoided.
She could have been a super-star in the Hollywood.
You could have been a doctorate by now, if you had worked hard.
What could have been her state of mind during pandemic, I can’t even imagine!
I could have been with my family on weekends, if I had not this project to finish early.
You could have been a better couple, if you had a mutual understanding.
He could have been victorious, if he had played excellently.
You could have been my best friend, if you had not hurt me.
They could have been courageous warriors, had they got a proper backing.
Antonio could have been courteous with Shylock, but he didn’t.
He could have been wiser, had he learnt from his forefathers.
You could have been the best father, if you had taken care of your children.
She could have been more refined, if she had been brought up properly.
The skills could have been learned earlier, had they begun early.
The research project could have been submitted by now, had he opted for an assistant.


Would have been…

Would have been
expresses an imaginary situation, talking about something that did not happen. It usually talks about an imaginary result followed by the action in the past which would have created that scenario. ‘Would have been’ is used to explain the logic of events.


John would have been the president, had he been a good communicator.
The petrol prices would have been under control, had the government intervened.
India would have been the top-most growing nation, had British not looted it.
The surrounding of the village would have been saved, had villagers informed about the calamity.
His life would have been saved, had he been treated in time.
He would have been in better shape.
The loan would have been repaid, had he save money from time to time.
You would have been a topper in the examination, if you had studied well.
She would have been in a big trouble, if he had not helped her on time.
His shows would have been popular, had he added a little comedy to it.
The college would have been accredited in a better way, if the principal had looked into it.
They would have been beautiful together.
The epic would have been written, had the writer not died.
The electricity would have been provided 24X7, had they opted for the renewable energy.
It would have been a big nuisance!
The case would have been won, had the victim withdrawn it.
The world would have been the better place, had the principle of equality been practiced.
I would not have been dependent on you, if you had not given me a word.
He would have been a bankrupt, if he had not hushed up the matter.
The sports would have been better, had ultra-nationalism not been practiced in the field.
Imagine how the nature would have been, if insects could think!
The nature would have been a Nurse, a Mother and Teacher, had we worshiped it.
The society would have been elevated with scientific temperament, had superstitions not been followed.
The fiscal deficit would have been less, had a fiscal policy been followed strictly.
It would not have been practicable at all.
The peace would have been maintained, had the people not been greedy.
He would have been a better person, if he had been little humble.
They would have been angry with you, if you had made that mistake.


Should have been…

We use should have been in order to state our opinions. This shows that you knew you were supposed to pay closer attention, but just weren’t focused enough on that task.


You should have been more careful.
He should have been with his parents then.
They should have been decent with their mannerism.
It should have been done meticulously.
We should have been together there at the function, it would be more fun.
Examinations should have been offline.
The ball should have been caught.
The data should have been analyzed.
The graph should have been provided.
The thesis should have been submitted.
The vaccine should have been taken.
Junk food should have been skipped.
The funds should have been transferred.
The audit should have been done.
The library should have been cleaned.
The candidate should have been selected timely.
The employee should have been informed about the salary deduction.
The members of legislative assembly should have been consulted.
The project should have been completed now.
James should have been married by now.
Waseem should have been awarded with Ph.D., had he submitted the thesis.
Mary should have been trained in music, if she wanted to take part in the musical show.
Mr. Bennett should have been punished for committing the murder.
You should have been little sensible.
The film should have been released, before the protests started taking place.
The paper should have been published, before applying for the job.
The city center should have been renovated fully before the inauguration.
Results should have been declared by now.
The inflation should have been controlled before the year ended.
He should have been promoted so far.


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“I am a Professor of English Language. I am able to teach English, using my own Creativity. I always like to create something innovative. My dream is to make the English teaching-learning process joyous, providing solutions to all Global educational needs." - Prof. Dipak Burhade


  1. Prof. Dipak Burhade ji,

    Kindly inform me the question form for “The amount could have been transferred by mistake”.
    Can I use “Could the amount have been transferred by mistake?”?


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