Perfect conditional

The perfect conditional in its continuous form is used to talk about unreal situations.

Form: would have been + -ing form of the verb

Examples are:

  • She would have been working
  • They would have been singing
  • He would have been playing
  • We would have been waiting


  • She wouldn’t have been working
  • They wouldn’t have been singing
  • He wouldn’t have been playing
  • We wouldn’t have been waiting


  • Would she have been working?
  • Would they have been waiting?
  • Would they have been playing?

Interrogative negative

  • Wouldn’t we have been waiting?
  • Wouldn’t they have been working?

The perfect conditional forms are used in type 3 conditional sentences. They refer to unreal or imaginary situations.

Examples are given below

  • If the weather had been hotter (but it wasn’t), we wouldn’t have been sitting in the garden (but we weren’t sitting in the garden).

The sentence given above indicates two unreal past situations.

It is actually used to refer to the unfulfilled result of the situation mentioned in the if-clause.

More examples are given below.

  • If she hadn’t failed the test (but she failed the test), she would have been studying in the US now (but she wasn’t studying in the US).
  • If I had had any money (but I didn’t have the money), I would have been partying with my friends (but I wasn’t partying) in a dance bar on that fateful night.