Home LanguageGrammar What’s The Difference Between “Had Been” And “Has Been”? (Explained)

What’s The Difference Between “Had Been” And “Has Been”? (Explained)

by Logan
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If you are an English language learner, you may be struggling with the proper use of tenses. It is a good idea to learn more about the different tenses and how they work before you start writing essays or even emails in English.

There are three tenses: present, past, and future. The present tense is used for things that happen or are happening now while the past tense is used for things that happened in the past. On the other hand, the future tense is used for things that will happen in the future.

You can use different helping words to portray different tenses in a sentence. Two words are “has been” and “had been.” The words “has been” and “had been” are two articulations that mean the same thing but have slightly different meanings.

The primary difference between “has been” and “had been” is that “has been” is the present perfect tense of the verb “be,” while “had been” is a past perfect tense that indicates something that happened earlier than another past action.

If you want to know more about the significance of these words, read till the end.

What Does “Has Been” Mean?

“Has been” is a phrase that can be used as an adjective or a verb. It describes something that was once in existence but is no longer.

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English grammar is pretty complicated

For example: “My old teddy bear was my favorite toy when I was little.” In this sentence, the old teddy bear describes something that has been but isn’t anymore.

Apart from that, it also tells you about the process that started in the past and is still going on in the future. For example, “I’ve been working on this project for ages” tells you that the speaker started working on this project at some point in the past, but it’s still unfinished.

Usage Of “Has Been”

  • “Has been” is a verb that describes someone who was once famous but has now fallen out of the public eye. It can also be used to describe an object or idea that was once useful and important but has since become outdated.
  • “Has been” can be used as an adjective to describe a person or thing that is no longer relevant or interesting.

For example: “My parents were really into disco when they were young, but now they’re just has-beens.”

  • It can also be used as an adverb to describe something that happened in the past and is no longer relevant.

For example: “I used to think I would never get married, but now I’m a has-been.”

What Does Had Been Mean?

“Had been” is a past participle verb used to describe an action completed in the past. It can be used after a form of “to be” as in, “I had been wanting to go hiking for months.”

The phrase “had been” is also commonly seen in conjunction with the pronouns “he,” “she,” and “it,” as well as other verbs such as “have” and “be.”

When you use “had been,” you’re talking about something that happened before another action in the past.

For example: “I had been waiting for my friend for hours when she finally showed up.”

You can also use it to talk about ongoing or habitual things: “The lights had been flickering for days, but no one could figure out why.”

And you can use it as an adjective: “The teacher had been absent from class so often this semester that she was surprised when they called her name during roll call.”

Usage Of “Had Been”

“Had been” is a past participle used to refer to the past tense. It can be used in two ways:

As an auxiliary verb, which means it’s helping out another verb with its action. For example, consider the sentence “I had been working on that project for weeks.”

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Keep learning if you want to become fluent in a language

In this case, “had been working” is helping “working” by adding information about when you started working on the project. If we didn’t have that extra word, our sentence would read as “I was working on that project for weeks,” which doesn’t tell us anything about when you started working on it.

So “had been” is crucial because it gives us more information about when something happened or how long it took.

In a passive sentence construction like “I had been working on that project”, where we’re not sure who did something or who was responsible for something happening

Example: My house got robbed; my car was stolen.

Differences Between “Has Been” And “Had Been”

The difference between the words “has been” and “had been” is that the former is an auxiliary verb, while the latter is a past participle. This means that they have different uses in English grammar.

  • “Has been” is an adjective. It can be used to describe something or someone in the present tense. It’s generally used to indicate that something has existed for a while now (as opposed to just starting) or that someone has had an experience in the past.
  • “Had been” is an auxiliary verb—it’s used in conjunction with other verbs to modify them. In this case, it’s helping to form the past perfect tense—a way of describing something that happened in the past and had already happened before another event occurred.
  • You can also use “has been” to make a statement about something that has happened at some point in time. However, you cannot use it to talk about what happened at a specific moment in time.
  • On the other hand, “had been” can be used to talk about something that happened at a specific moment in time but not to make a statement about something general happening at some point in time.

Here is the video telling you the differences between “has been, have been, and had been.”

Has Been vs. Had Been vs. Have Been

“Has Been” vs. “Had Been”

Let me elaborate on the usage and meaning of these two and their differences through some examples:

Has BeenHad Been
This white bird has been following me all day long.She had been shopping in that bazaar before you came home.
My father has been working there since 1990.The food had been finished when I got home.
The lady has been taken to the hospital. Francis had been given a grand reception at the hotel.
Has Been vs. Had Been

What Is Another Word For Had Been?

There are many different words for “had been” depending on the context.

In a sentence like “He had been running for hours,” another word for “had been” would be “was.” In the passive voice, another word for “had been” is “been.”

What Is Another Word For Has Been?

The word “has been” describes a person who was once famous but no longer is.

In the case of celebrities, this can be because they’re no longer on the scene or because they’ve been replaced by someone younger and more popular.

There are many synonyms for “has been,” including “has gone,” “has vanished,” “is no longer here,” and many others.

Final Thoughts

  • The words “has been” and “had been” are both past tense forms of the verb “to be,” but they are used differently in different situations.
  • “Has been” describes an action that is still going on or that happened in the past but is still valid.
  • “Had been” describes an action that happened in the past and has ended.
  • “Has been” is an auxiliary verb, while “had been” is a past participle.
  • “Has been” is also used as an adjective.

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