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The correct use of Have been, Has been and Had been. Three ways to use them appropriately

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Hello dear reader!

My name is Collins, a student of the University of Benin currently studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering but I love English. 

Today I’ll be sharing some brilliant idea on the actual and correct use of the words; Have been, Has been and Had been. 

Most users of the word don’t actually get the concept and this brings a little confusion when using the word. Sometimes you just get confused on which to use. Should I say I have been there or I had been there? 

Well let’s get straight to the lessons. I’ll be highlighting three different use of the words Have been, Has been and Had been. 

Have been

Has been

Had been

Have been (Present) – is used for plural noun (I, You, They, We) 

I have been

The cats have been

They have been

We have been 

Has been – is used for singular noun (He, She, It) and uncountable nouns.

He has been

She has been

The water has been

It has been. 

Had been – is used for past tense. Here the past tense had been can be used for both Plural and singular nouns. 

They had been

She had been

We had been and so on. 

Now let’s get to the three different ways the words can be used

First use of Have been, Has been, Had been. 

Travel Experience – they are used for travel experience. I’ll share some examples below. 

1. We have been to Cameroon many times. 

2. We Have visited The University of Benin 3 times

3. We have been to The University of Benin 3 times. 

4. I have been to UNILAG 3 times

5. I have visited UNILAG 3 times. 

It can also be used for questions like; 

Have you been to The University of Benin before? 

Yes, I have been to The University of Benin many times. 

NOTE: we cannot talk about specific time. Example below; 

I’ve been to UNILAG last year (WRONG) 

Now let’s talk about the use of past tense – Had been 

Had been can only be used when talking about two events in the past.

1. When I visited Milan last year, I had never been to Italy before. 

Second use of Have been, Has been and Had been

Let’s discuss the second use – the present perfect continuous form. 

Have been, Has been and Had been can also be used for actions or situation that happened in the past and are still continuing.

Have

1. I’ve been studying English for 3 years. 

2. I’ve been studying English since 2017. 

Take note of the time frame here, For and Since. 

For – the length of time I’ve been studying English and I’m still studying English. 

Since – the start of my English study. Since 2017 and I’m still studying. 

More examples below; 

3. We have been together for 3 years. 

4. We have been together since 3 years. 

Has

1. Afrokit has been watching TV for 4 hours. 

2. Afrokit has been watching TV since 3am. 

All of these examples both in Have and Has are all continuous. 

Had

I’ll use the same examples above to explain Had. 

1. I had been studying English for 3 years when I left the school.

2. We had been together for 3 years when we broke up. 

3. Afrokit had been watching TV since 3am when he stopped some house work. 

Now take note of both events, they are both past tense but one continues. 

We had been dating for 3 years – continuous 

When we broke up – the end of our relationship. 

Third use of Have been, Has been and Had been. 

We use them for passive voice. This is not common but important that you know it because you’ve definitely come across it before. 

1. Your offer has been accepted – passive voice. 

The active voice for this statement would be – The seller had accepted your offer. 

We use passive voice to shift concentration from ourselves. For example; a politician will likely say

2. Mistakes have been made – passive voice.  

But the active voice for this would be; 

I have made mistakes. 

He wouldn’t want to say he has made mistakes so he’d definitely say; mistakes have been made. 

Now how do we use Had been for passive voice. This is very uncommon but it’s quite important you know it. 

1. The marketing campaign had just been launched when the agency shut down. 

2. The plane had been waiting for fuel when the pilot noticed a fault in the engine. 

Two event occurred here,

 one the plane had been waiting for fuel  

And two the pilot noticed a fault in the engine. 

Now I’ll drop some test questions for you to practice. I want you to drop your answers in the comment section below. I will attend to your answers and if I don’t get to correct you on time just help yourselves with the correct answers. 

Questions – Drop your answer in the comment. 

1. ___ you ___ to Lagos before? 

2. She ___ ___ waiting for the doctor since 9am. 

3. A gang ___ ___ arrested on suspicion of various crimes. 

4. He ___ ___ searching for a job for 3 months when he got invited for an interview. 

5. Your letters ___ ___ delayed in the post. 

I’ll be expecting to see your answers in the comment section. Please note that I’m not an authorized English teacher. I made research on various books and Italk academy before writing this article. 

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Education

Some Nigeria Words That Has Been Added To Oxford Dictionary

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When a Nigerian says “see you next tomorrow,” the person actually means the day after tomorrow.

It’s one of the colloquialisms of Nigerian English that have made it into the latest updates of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Like in many English-speaking societies, Nigerians have crafted new words, phrases and meanings that have, overtime, become widely adopted as part of the country’s local lexicon.

And that’s a reality that OED acknowledges. In this updates, the dictionary says Nigerians “have made, and are continuing to make, a unique and distinctive contribution to English” through these words. The 29 new additions from Nigerian English, OED says, are “either borrowings from Nigerian languages, or unique Nigerian coinages” that have been used since the 1970s and 1980s.

For example, “Tokunbo”, a Yoruba name often given to a child born in a foreign land, became a popular tag used for secondhand cars imported into the country as new car sales crashed in the 1980s’ economic downturn. It’s now used for all manner of imported secondhand items. The OED has it as an adjective, as in “tokunbo car”.

Sometimes it’s about expanding the use of a word from its original conception. The word “gist” has is usually used for the substance or essence of a discussion or speech. But in Nigerian English it is a noun which means “rumor” but also a verb, which means “to gossip”.


Some Of The Nigerian English Words And Phrases Added To The OXFORD English Dictionary

Nigerian EnglishMeaningSentence
Next tomorrowThe day after tomorrowI’ll see you next tomorrow
K-legA problem or flawMy plans for next week have developed a K-leg
Send-forthA party or celebration to mark someone’s departureI’m planning a send-forth party for my colleague
Ember monthsThe last four months of the yearYou can get great shopping deals during the ember months
Put to bedTo give birth to a childMy wife has put to bed
Rub minds togetherTo consult on a matter with another personLet’s rub minds together for this project
TokunboAn imported second-hand product

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