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Have Been vs. Has Been: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 26, 2023
"Have been" is used with plural subjects or the pronouns I/you/we/they, while "has been" is used with singular third-person subjects.

Key Differences

Have been is the present perfect form used with plural subjects (e.g., we, they) and singular subjects I and you. While, has been is the form used with singular third-person subjects (e.g., he, she, it).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023
Have been indicates actions or states that started in the past and are still relevant now, or were relevant over a period, when talking about 'we', 'you', 'they', or 'I'. However, has been indicates the same but for 'he', 'she', or 'it'.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023
Have been is used to discuss experiences, changes, or ongoing situations in our lives or in the lives of plural subjects. Has been is used in similar contexts but refers to a single third-person subject.
Sara Rehman
Nov 26, 2023
Have been can also imply repeated actions or experiences when referring to 'I', 'you', 'we', or 'they'. Has been implies a similar meaning but pertains to individual subjects like 'he', 'she', or 'it'.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023
In interrogative and negative forms, have been is used with 'I', 'you', 'we', and 'they', such as “Have you been?” or “They haven't been.” Has been is used with 'he', 'she', 'it', as in “Has she been?” or “It hasn't been.”
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Subject Pronouns

I, you, we, they
He, she, it
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Number

Plural and some singular
Singular only
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Example Sentence

We have been studying.
She has been reading.
Sara Rehman
Nov 26, 2023

Use in Questions

Have you been to France?
Has he been to the park?
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

Use in Negative Sentences

They haven't been called.
It hasn't been confirmed.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023
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Have Been and Has Been Definitions

Have Been

Indicates an action or state continuing from past to present.
I have been working here for five years.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Has Been

Indicates an ongoing state or action from past to present.
He has been living in London since 2010.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 15, 2023

Have Been

Refers to repeated actions or experiences.
They have been visiting that museum often.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Has Been

Present perfect form for 'he', 'she', 'it'.
She has been writing all afternoon.
Janet White
Nov 15, 2023

Have Been

Present perfect form for 'I', 'you', 'we', 'they'.
We have been traveling for hours.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Has Been

Expresses individual experiences or accomplishments.
She has been awarded twice for her work.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Have Been

Expresses life experiences.
I have been to Spain three times.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 15, 2023

Has Been

Used for singular subjects experiencing changes.
It has been getting colder each day.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 15, 2023

Have Been

Used for describing changes over time.
You have been growing so fast.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Has Been

Describes a repeated action or habit.
He has been jogging every morning.
Janet White
Nov 15, 2023

Has Been

One that is no longer famous, popular, successful, or useful.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 14, 2023

Has Been

(pejorative) A person, especially one formerly popular or influential, who continues in their field after their popularity or effectiveness has peaked and is now in decline.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 14, 2023

Has Been

Someone who is no longer popular
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 14, 2023

FAQs

When is 'has been' appropriate?

For singular third-person subjects like 'he', 'she', 'it'.
Sara Rehman
Nov 26, 2023

Is 'have been' used in passive constructions?

Yes, it's used in passive forms for plural and some singular subjects.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Can 'have been' refer to a completed action?

Yes, if the action's effects are still relevant.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

When do you use 'have been'?

When referring to 'I', 'you', 'we', 'they'.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

How do question forms differ with 'have been' and 'has been'?

“Have you been?” vs. “Has she been?”
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023

Are there exceptions to these rules?

Generally no, these rules are quite consistent in English grammar.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

How does context change the meaning of 'have been'?

The context can shift the time frame or emphasis on continuity.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Can 'has been' be used in passive voice?

Yes, for singular third-person subjects in passive constructions.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Does 'has been' always imply past action?

Mostly, but the effect or relevance is often present.
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

Does 'has been' imply continuity?

Yes, it often implies ongoing or past-to-present continuity.
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

How does tense change with 'have been' and 'has been'?

The tense is always present perfect with both.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Can 'have been' express hypotheticals?

Yes, in conditional or hypothetical constructions.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023

Can 'have been' and 'has been' be used interchangeably?

No, they're subject-specific.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Do these forms change in American vs. British English?

The usage is consistent in both American and British English.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

How do negative forms work with 'have been' and 'has been'?

“They haven't been” vs. “He hasn't been.”
Janet White
Nov 26, 2023

Is 'has been' used in formal writing?

Yes, it's common in both formal and informal writing.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023

What is the difference in time expression between the two?

Both express actions from the past continuing to the present, but for different subjects.
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

Are 'have been' and 'has been' common in spoken English?

Yes, they're frequently used in both spoken and written English.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

How do these forms relate to past and present tenses?

They bridge past actions or states with present relevance.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023

Can 'have been' and 'has been' be used for future reference?

Indirectly, when implying future implications of present actions.
Janet White
Nov 26, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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