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Learn how to use have been / has been / had been correctly. Also see – MOST COMMON MISTAKES IN ENGLISH & HOW TO AVOID THEM:

1. Most Common MISTAKES in English & How to Avoid Them:
4. Correct Use of COULD and WOULD:
5. All GRAMMAR lessons:
6. All MODAL VERBS lessons:

‘Have been’, ‘has been’ and ‘had been’. These forms cause a lot of
confusion for many people. Well, in this video, I will clear up
that confusion. I’m going to teach you the three main uses of
these forms how to use them correctly without making mistakes. As
always, there is a quiz at the end of the video to test your
understanding. Alright, let’s get started. Before we talk about
the uses, you need to know the basics of where to use have, has
and had been: in the present, if the subject of a sentence is
I/You/We/They or a plural noun, then we use ‘have been’. If the
subject is He/She/It or a singular noun, then we use ‘has been’.
This is when we talk about the present. When we talk only about
the past, it’s very easy. For any subject, we use ‘had been’. OK,
let me test you: what do we use with He/She/It or a singular noun
in the present? We use ‘has been’. What about with I/You/We/They
or plural nouns? We use ‘have been’. And in the past tense? We use
‘had been’ for all subjects. Good, so let’s now look at the first
use of these forms. This is in the present perfect tense. That is,
to talk about actions or situations that started in the past and
are still continuing. Here’s an example: “I have been working as a
teacher for 7 years.” In speech, we usually shorten ‘I have’ to
‘I’ve’ – “I’ve been working as a teacher for 7 years.” Let’s look
at a timeline for this. You know that I started working as a
teacher seven years ago (or in 2010 because at the time of filming
this video, right now, it’s 2017), and I’m still a teacher, so
this action – ‘working’ is continuing. In this sentence, we can
also say: “I have been working as a teacher since 2010.” The
difference between ‘for’ and ‘since’ is that if you want to
mention the duration (or amount of time), then you use ‘for’ (like
‘for 7 years’). If you want to mention the starting point of the
action or situation, use ‘since’ (as in ‘since 2010’). Here’s
another example: let’s say that this lady wants to see the doctor.
Her appointment was at 3 o’clock. She came to the hospital at 3,
but the doctor wasn’t there. So she started waiting at 3 o’clock
and she’s still waiting – let’s say it’s 5 o’clock now, so two
hours have passed. So what can we say? We can say: “She has been
waiting for two hours.” or “She has been waiting since 3 o’clock.”
In natural speech, we say he‘s been and she’s been: “She’s been
waiting”. OK have a look at this sentence: “He has been the CEO of
the company for four months” or we can say ‘since June’ because
that’s when he started. Here, we don’t have an –ing verb like
‘working’ or ‘waiting’. That’s because we don’t want to focus on
any action, we just want to express the situation – that he became
the CEO in June and he’s still the CEO. Here’s another example:
“They’ve been married for 25 years / since 1992.” When did they
get married? In 1992. Are they still married now? Yes. So, they’ve
been married for 25 years now. OK, so what about ‘had been’? Well,
let’s change our sentences a little bit: “I had been working as a
teacher for 7 years when I quit my job.” Ah, we see a different
meaning here. It means that I started working as a teacher at some
point in the past, I was a teacher for 7 years, but then I quit.
So now, I am no longer a teacher. I want you to notice that there
are two past actions here: one continuous action (“I had been
working as a teacher”) and a single finished action at the end of
that (“I quit”). Compare this to the previous sentence – “I have
been working as a teacher” – here, there is only one continuous
action and it’s still continuing, it’s not finished. So, please
remember this rule: only use ‘had been’ if there were two events
in the past: a continuing action or a situation and a single,
finished action. So let’s go back to the other sentences. With
these, we can say: “She had been waiting for two hours when the
doctor finally arrived.” “He’d been the CEO of the company for
only four months when it went bankrupt.” ‘Went bankrupt’ means the
company lost all its money and closed down. “They had been married
for 25 years when they divorced.” So are they still married?
Unfortunately, no. Just like the sentences with ‘have been’ and
‘has been’ are in the present perfect tense, the sentences with
‘had been’ are in the past perfect tense.
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