Should I use "would be" or "would have been" in the following case?


He apologized for the poor product range. I told him it was okay: that I cared more about quality than quantity. And that if they worked as expected, even one would be/have been enough to meet the needs of my company.

Do I have to use would be or would have been? Why?


Posted 2015-04-16T07:02:50.750

Reputation: 5 741

1...cared more about quality... – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2015-04-16T13:36:30.943



"Would be".

Even though the extract as a whole is in the past tense, you are specifically referring to what "you" told him, and when you spoke to him, you would have been speaking in the present tense.

On the other hand, if you had been speaking to him after he had given you the products, you would say that just one would have been enough - because when you spoke to him, you would be speaking in the past tense.


Posted 2015-04-16T07:02:50.750

Reputation: 1 101