He wouldn't <be><have been> in a happy mood, but


Senior Member
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Despite the fact that John's dog died today, he's in a happy mood (he's just found a lot of money in a taxicab). Bill knows why John is in a happy mood. Bob expects John to be in a bad mood. After Bob sees John, the dialog below takes place between Bob and Bill.

Sample sentence:

Bob: "John's dog died today! Why is he in a happy mood?"

Bill: "He wouldn't <be><have been> in a happy mood, but he's just found a lot of money in a taxicab."


I asked a similar question in my earlier thread. In the present thread, I've changed the polarity of the verb "would", so now it is "wouldn't."

Which option would be correct in this case? Or are they both acceptable?

Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I'd use the conditional perfect there: I don't think reversing the polarity makes any difference there.

    I read it as an implied conditional:
    His dog died yesterday, so he wouldn't have been in a happy mood [had he not found this money in the taxi].
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