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How To Use “Have Been” “Has Been” “Had Been”?


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 IYouWeThey or a plural noun (cars, birds, children) we use have been.

☛A total of five cars have been stolen from the city center.
☛Birds have been following me all day long.
☛Children have been playing since morning. (still playing)


If the subject of the sentence is HeSheIt or a singular noun (car, bird, child) we use has been.

☛My car has been stolen from the city center.
☛This bird has been following me all day long.
☛A child has been playing since morning.

Usage of “Had Been”

When we are talking about the past: for any subject (I, You, He, She,It, We, They) we use ‘had been‘.

“Had been,”, suggests an action that both began and ended in the past.

We use the past perfect continuous to indicate that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past.

To show time reference “for” and “since” are used and it describes when the action started and how long it continued in the past.

“For ten minutes”, “for five weeks”, “for two months” are durations which can be used with the past perfect continuous.

☛I had been reading articles on English language for three hours.
☛How long had you been studying English before you moved to London?
☛I had been shopping with my wife in the market since morning.
☛She had been shopping in that bazaar before you came home.
☛Children had been playing baseball in that field before it started to rain. (not anymore)

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.

Have Been, Has Been, Had Been Quiz

#1. Where were you? We ____ waiting for you since 10 o'clock.

#2. They ____ living in Boston until they moved out in 1984.

#3. She ____ writing this answer for 20 minutes.

#4. When I went home, she ____ cooking for 5 hours

#5. Magicians ____ highly regarded in medieval times.

#6. She _____ to Istanbul many times.

#7. He ____ very interested in doing research on biology since he was at high school.




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☞You can find more English quizzes on quizyourenglish.com

Check Also:

Present Perfect or Simple Past?

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Ahammed Afsal vp

I’m so satisfied😊😊

Ahmet Gashi

Very nice


I’m very satisfied


These all content is very helpful for me. Thank you for your effort.

Sunil Talpada

Can u please send me more exercise ? Do you have pdf?

janidu deshan

very easy to lean english


Thank you

Elle Mari

Very confusing yet very informational


Good one!!! Thanks..


its superb

Eya Ayachi

Great post. Learned a lot in short time!


Please help.
The following sentence needs to be in the passive voice.
My bag had been stolen when I was on my way home. The thief was arrested shortly after. Is this correct? Or should it be “has been stolen” or “was stolen” Thanks

Syed ishrat haqani

Has been is correct

Cristian Daniel Osolos

Are you sure? The action hapoened and finished in the past. I mean, “when I WAS on my way home”, is the past simple. So, shouldn’t it be HAD BEEN?

Sanskriti Pathak

You are correct that was past which already happened so according to that it shall be had been


this is a useful practical exercise.

Very nice lessons. Recommend me more please.


It made me understand the concept very well , but would we nice if we get a chance to check our answers


would make more sense if it had the result


Very useful!


I am so satisfied and pleased to get this exercise


Very useful..


I learned a lot.
Thank you 🙂


Really appreciated guys. have been, had been difference is easy for me now


I am understand now .. thanks


The lesson is very clear and it’s much helpful to easy understanding.
Thank you very much.✨😊😊👍




Understood thank you

Mahdy Hasan

It’s a really amazing post for me.

M T.

You have no idea how confusing this was to me. Thank you so much brother!

Jothi vignesh

Good explanation

Md. Kamrul Hasan

Thank you very much. Though it is not tough, but sometimes really confusing.

John Onodu


Manchan kushwaha

Very nice

aastha chauhan

this is so nice. a good explanation plus gave you a quick quiz. Amazing <3

Abhisha Tripathi

very helpful..also .like the way you identified examples


Thanks for the lesson. I learnt how to use have been, has been, had been easily!

yuvraj m

i have been tried a lot to learn the use of “have/had been”.
finally i have learned with the help of this website.
very useful and easy to learn content i have seen ever.

Nicest man

Finally I have learned the difference between has been, had been, have been. Nice!


It is really nice to get information from learn English team.
It is informative especially the quiz amazing. Thank you.



Abubakar Jibril

Thanks for the lesson

arrow bean

got perfect score


These examples have been very helpful for me

Last edited 1 year ago by Gayan

It gave me confidence, very nice and easy to understand




I would like to join conversation group


I don’t know about had been and have been.. Finally I have clearly.. Thanks for this..


Very grateful thank you

Yuva Priyan J

hi how do i know my answers are correct or not.

Qysara Nizaruden

All the question are very interesting

Ajay Bisht

What the hell is wrong with this site, after giving the above test, for results they asked for my Name and Email-ID, I provided both but still stuck with the same page, Nothing received on my mail and nothing seems to be visible in this page also!!


where is result


Great content , easy and practical
-Very satisfied! ♥️
Thank you !!


truly very helpfull.thanks a lot.

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