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Usage of Has/Have/Had been?

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codesnooker GMAT Destroyer!
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Usage of Has/Have/Had been? Post Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:42 pm
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    Hi,

    Can anyone please tell us in details about the usage of has/have/had been? From the long time, I have seen that this is one of very common problem for most of the GMAT test takers and also I did search on Google but did not find anything solid to grasp the complete concept.

    Also, it's difficult to provide the specific questions on this topic because in practice material we usually find below 700 level questions, in which people can easily identify the correct answer with the help of POE. It ultimately again results in the lack of knowledge this topic. Whereas in real GMAT at 700+ level, the question required proper knowledge of topic.

    I request the GMAT instructors to please provide the details on this topic to fill any left loophole.

    Thanks a lot,
    Code Snooker

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    stop@800 GMAT Destroyer!
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    Post Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:11 pm
    I am not the instructor but let me try to explain the concept to you guys:)

    has / have used in present perfect

    present perfect is used when some action started in past and is still continuing in present.

    I have been living in India since 1950.

    I am still living so "have"
    started in 1950 and still continuing........


    has is used in present perfect buy with singular subjects.

    She has been living in India since 1950.



    Now had
    the most important part
    had is used in past perfect

    in past perfect two actions occured in the past and both have finished by now...
    had will come with former action and simple past with later action.......

    past perfect will be used ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE TWO ACTIONS OF THE PAST
    and both must have finished in the past.


    Before doc arrived, patient had died.

    Two actions
    doc arrived
    patient died

    first patient died thn doc arrived
    so had is used with patient died.


    Hope this helps.....

    codesnooker GMAT Destroyer!
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    Post Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:18 pm
    stop@800 wrote:
    I am not the instructor but let me try to explain the concept to you guys:)
    Hi Stop@800,

    Thanks a lot for your effort. But sorry to say, I have asked especially about HAS BEEN, HAVE BEEN and HAD BEEN or may anyone of HAS/HAVE/HAD with BEEN.

    Regarding HAS, HAVE and HAD we can find a lot on the net or grammar book but regarding the usage of BEEN, I have find only the following things:-

    1. It is used in present/past perfect continuous tense.
    2. To describe some experiences (for eg: I have been to India. Very Happy)
    3. Time concept as you have shown in your example (She has been living in India since 1950.).
    4. It is modified form of auxiliary verb BE. (But even I don't know the all usage of verb BE). Sad

    But I don't know more than that. If you can describe more usage of BEEN then it will helpful for everyone.

    Once again thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,
    Code Snooker

    codesnooker GMAT Destroyer!
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    Post Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:40 pm
    Thanks for the links. I hope we can other words too like BEING, HAVING etc.

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    Stacey Koprince GMAT Instructor
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    Post Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:15 am
    I received a PM asking me to comment. This stuff can get complicated, so I'll mostly try to use examples and show what they mean, rather than use "formal" grammar language.

    Has been and have been are both used with the present perfect tenses, which is used when we want to talk about something that started in the past but (1) is still going on right now in the present OR (2) is still relevant / true today.

    Eg:
    I have been to France. (Sometime in the past, I went to France, and that fact is still true today.)
    She has been living in this house for awhile. (She started living in this house sometime in the past and she still lives in this house now. She may keep living in this house in the future.)

    The first is an example of plain present perfect - there's no other verb besides the "have been" construction.
    The second is an example of present perfect continuous or present perfect progressive - an "ing" verb after "been," indicating an ongoing action.

    The have vs. has decision is based on the subject: I have, you have, s/he/it has, we have, they have. On the GMAT, in general, your choice will usually be between s/he/it has and they have, so we generally think of "has" as singular and "have" as plural.

    "had been" basically follows similar parameters, but for the past perfect instead of present perfect. In this case, "had" doesn't change depending on the subject (whether it is singular or plural) - it's just always "had."

    On this test, we use the past perfect to indicate something that happened in the past before something else that also happened in the past OR something that happened in the past and was still going when another, later past even then occurred. You can indicate these two events either directly (by, for example, referencing a date in the past) or indirectly (by, for example, using simple past tense to indicate the action that occurred later in time).

    (There are some other uses for past perfect, but they generally don't come up on this test.)

    In 1990, John had been the top student at his school for several years. (First, John had been the top student prior to 1990 and still was the top student in 1990. After that... we don't know.)
    The teacher thought that John had been a particularly outstanding student. (First, at some unspecified time, John was an outstanding student; then, at some unspecified but LATER time, the teacher had this thought about John.)

    Now here's past progressive:
    Before the teacher entered the room, John had been cheating on the exam. (First, John was in the act of cheating on the exam. Later, the teacher walked in. Did John stop because the teacher walked in? Or had he already stopped for some other reason before she walked in? We don't know - but the OG prefers to interpret this as: John cheated. Then John stopped. Then the teacher walked into the room.)

    present perfect progressive:
    John has been cheating on the exam ever since the teacher left the room. (John started teaching sometime in the past, when the teacher left the room. He's still cheating right now. He may continue cheating for some indeterminate amount of time into the future.)

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    pre-gmat Really wants to Beat The GMAT! Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:14 am
    Awesome explanation

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    Post Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:14 am
    Stacey,
    Can you please explain with this example as well.

    Under a provision of the Constitution that was never applied, Congress has been required to call a convention for considering possible amendments to the document when formally asked to do it by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states.

    (A) was never applied, Congress has been required to call a convention for considering possible amendments to the document when formally asked to do it
    (B) was never applied, there has been a requirement that Congress call a convention for consideration of possible amendments to the document when asked to do it formally
    (C) was never applied, whereby Congress is required to call a convention for considering possible amendments to the document when asked to do it formally
    (D) has never been applied, whereby Congress is required to call a convention to consider possible amendments to the document when formally asked to do so
    (E) has never been applied, Congress is required to call a convention to consider possible amendments to the document when formally asked to do so

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    Stacey Koprince GMAT Instructor
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    Post Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:43 am
    Sure. The first thing I noticed on my initial read-through was "do it." What does "it" refer to? It refers to "required to call" or perhaps just to "to call" - either way, it refers to a verb. "It" is a pronoun; it has to refer to nouns. So I need this to say "do so" not "do it." ("Do so" can refer to a verb.)

    On the GMAT in general, if you see "do it" and you have "do so" as an option in some of the choices, be very skeptical about "do it." Most of the time, they're testing to see whether you know how to use "do so."

    Anyway, so A, B, and C are eliminated. And that actually leaves me with only one verb combo for earlier in the sentence: has never been applied and is required.

    That makes sense given the other words in the sentence: it's true that the provision has never been applied, either in the past or up to this point in time right now. The "was never applied" option that implies that this was true in the past but stopped being true at some point in the past... but the paired verbs in A, B, and C, all use either present perfect or simple present. If you jump from simple (passive) past to present perfect or simple present... now we have a disconnect, because we have no idea whether the provision still has never been applied or whether it was just not applied before some unknown time in the past, but then it was actually applied.

    So, D and E both have the proper tenses. "Whereby" is the only difference left. (Where is this from, by the way? This is generally a well-constructed problem but I'm really surprised to see a choice hinge on only the usage of whereby. It's a pretty archaic term and the GMAT doesn't usually make us decide based on one archaic word alone.)

    "Whereby" means the same thing as "through which" or "by which" and it functions as an adverb or conjunction. So, if we wanted to use it here, we'd by saying "by which" Congress is required...
    So: Under X, by which Congress is required to do Y. (... where's the rest of the sentence? You no longer have an independent clause!)

    Here's a simpler sentence with the same basic construction; this might make it easier to see what's going on with the original sentence:
    Under my class rules, by which my students are required to study every day.

    So eliminate D. E is the answer.

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    GG04 Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:12 am
    thanks Stacey! This is from the thousandSC Questions.

    gabriela13 Just gettin' started! Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:46 pm
    This was a great explanation. I had come across this construction before and I never knew how to use it.

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