have been or had been

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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have been or had been

Unread postby nana08 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:48 pm

Annie and Alan have been married since July

or Annie and Alan had been married since july?

Is the ans "have been" coz they are still together ?...

Hope anyone enlighten me...Thank you.. :D

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Re: have been or had been

Unread postby Syl » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:37 pm

"Had been married" or "Had + past participle" is the past perfect tense used to show that two events happened in the past, and one of them happened first.

If you say:

"Annie and Alan have been married since July." (Present Perfect) it means that they are still married. It's the same as saying: Annie and Alan got married in July. They are still married today.


"Annie and Alan had been married since July" is an action that occurred in the past, happening before another event; it depends on the context of the sentence. If you say: "They had been married since July when their first child was born." 1) first event: their marriage in July - 2) second event after the marriage, but also in the past: the birth of their child.

(Let's not separate them :D )
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Re: have been or had been

Unread postby Pegasus » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:07 pm

I believe it would be be wrong to use the past perfect tense here because we do not have two actions but only one, that of getting married.

We use the past perfect to refer to an action that occured prior to another action in the past eg we can say:

By the time they adopted a child they had been married for three years.

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