Difference Between Has Been and Was (With Table)

‘Has been’ vs ‘Was’

‘Has been’ is used in sentences when we want to refer ‘importance or usefulness of an entity in past ’. The word ‘has been’ in the current sense is originates from the 1700s. ‘Has been’ can be used to refer an entity as already happened according to the present perspective. It is a form of present tense.

The word ‘past’ is simply used to describe the occurrence of an event in the past. The word ‘was’ coined before 1000s. It is derived from an Old English word ‘waes’. The word ‘was’ is past simple of the word ‘be’. It can only be used with first person singular and third person singular. The first-person singular includes words  

Let us understand the use of the word ‘has been’ more clearly by using this word in a sentence. For example, ‘the download of the software application has been paused’. Here the word ‘has been’ is used to describe an event (an event of downloading) happening in the past but now it has been paused.

Now, let us discuss the use of the word ‘was’ through a sentence. Let us consider an easy sentence constituting the word ‘was’. For example, ‘John was riding a skateboard yesterday’. Here the word ‘was’ only describes the occurrence of an event or an action (riding) in the past (yesterday).

The difference between the words ‘has been’ and ‘was’ can be compared on the basis of parameters like its definition, its use, its form of tense, whom does these words refer to, what do these words indicate at and with an example.

 

Comparison Table Between ‘Has been’ and ‘Was’ (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonHas BeenWas
DefinitionIt is defined as an entity that used to be important.It is defined as the past indicative of ‘be’.
Form of TenseIt is a form of present perfect continuous tense.It is a form of past continuous tense.
UseIt is used to describe the relevance of an already occurred event in the present. It is used to describe the occurrence of an event in the past.
ReferenceIt refers to a singular noun (example- he, she, it)It refers to first-person singular (example- I, me, myself) and third-person singular (example- he, she, it)
Points of IndicationIt indicates the time of the happening of an event or an action in the past and its importance at the present.It indicates about the happening of an event or an action in the past.
ExampleDonald has been sleeping for five hours now.The company was involved in many fraud cases.

 

What is ‘Has Been’?

‘Has been’ is regarded as present perfect continuous tense. It is used to describe the occurrence of an event in the past and its relevance at the present moment. Present perfect continuous tense is defined as an action that started in the past and continues in the present.

The word ‘has been’ is used for various purposes like an interrogation, to describe the present status of an event and active and passive voice sentences.

The word ‘has been’ used in the sentence takes into account two very important points regarding the situation. Firstly, an event that has happened in the past. Secondly, it also hints about the importance of an event or an action (happening in the past) in the present scenario.

Has been
 

What is ‘Was’?

The word ‘was’ is used in place of ‘be’. It is a simple tense. It only infers that the event has already occurred. It is used in the statement of fact. The word ‘was’ states the fact that an event has already occurred.

The use of the word ‘was’ only points towards the time of the happening of an action. It does not suggest about the relevance of an event in the present scenario. 

‘Was’ is used with first-person singular forms like ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘myself’, ‘mine’ and third-person singular forms like ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, etc.

Was

Main Differences Between ‘Has been’ and ‘Was’

  • The word ‘has been’ is a present perfect continuous tense. The word ‘was’ is past continuous tense.
  • ‘Has been’ suggests the time of occurrence of an event and also its relevance. ‘Was’ only indicates at the time of occurrence of an event.
  • The word ‘has been’ is only used for third-person singular form. On the other hand, the word ‘was’ can be used for first-person and third-person singular form. 
  • ‘Has been’ confirms the status of an event at present that has already happened in the past. ‘Was’ in no way implies about the status of an already occurred event. 
  • ‘Has been’ suggests that an event occurred in the past and is continued now. ‘Was’ states the fact that an event has already occurred.

 

Conclusion

‘Has been’ and ‘was’ looks similar but have different implications. Wrong use of these words can change the entire meaning of the sentence. Therefore, it is essential to understand the purpose of the words to use it rightfully. “Has been” is a form of present perfect continuous tense.

This form is used to refer to that started in the past and is still continuing in the present. “Was” is a form of past continuous tense. This form is used to refer to an action or an event which was going on at some time in the past. But it does not talk about the present status of that event. We should make efforts to grasp more knowledge about words and then use legitimately.