What is the difference between “have been, has been and had been”?
Are you struggling to use the correct form when you’re speaking or writing in English? In this lesson we’ll learn about the difference between have, has and had been.
Remember the best way to be learning grammar is using it! When you make practice, you will able to develop better understanding the use of each grammatical structure and apply this to your everyday life when you are speaking or writing in English.
Usage of “Have Been & Has Been”
‘Has been’ and ‘have been’ suggest an action that started in the past, but continues in the present.
When we are talking about the present:
If the subject of a sentence is I – You – We – They or a plural noun (cars, birds, children) we use ‘have been‘.
If the subject of the sentence is He – She – It or a singular noun (car, bird, child) we use ‘has been‘.
Usage of “Had Been”
When we are talking about the past: for any subject we use ‘had been‘.
“Had been,”, suggests an action that both began and ended in the past.
Difference between ‘Have been’ – ‘Had been’
Present perfect ‘have/has been ‘ is used when describing an action completed in the recent past and still assumes importance in the present.
We use ‘had been’ when you describe something that happened in the past before something else in the past. Also an action that had happened in the past and does not reflect any continuation to the present time.
Example: By 500 AD, the Roman Empire had been defeated.