difference between "was" and "has been"

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Dear All,

What is the difference between "was" and "has been" ? Example: The distance was calculated to be 30 miles. OR The distance has been calculated to be 30 miles. What is the difference between these two statements ? It is to be used in a scientific paper (don't know if that has any significance though).
New Member02
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"was" seems more appropriate for that context, in my opinion.
You are retelling what happened. A measurement was made. A calculation was done. And so on.

In the course of doing the whole scientific project, a colleague might wish to know something about the progress being made up to that point in time. He might then ask whether the measurements have been done yet, or whether the distance has been calculated yet. But once the whole project is finished, all the participants look back on it and say: This was measured; that was calculated; and so on.

CJ
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Thanks for your answer. The difference was/has been has always been a subject of confusion for me. Clearer now !
Should you want to link past experiments with current reporting/comments, the present perfect might be useful/in order.
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Anonymous:
If you say that it was calculated to be thirty miles, the calculation you are mentioning is placed by you at some unconnected time in the past. However, if you say that it has been calculated to be thirty miles, you are including the calculation in a moment that includes both now and then, even though then may be many years in the past. The latter is the perfect tense, whereas the former is the preterite or simple past. This seems to me to be the essential thing about the perfect tense; that you are expressing a still existing connection between now and then. Nowadays, people, especially Americans, tend to use the preterite when they should use the perfect, as in "I just did it" for "I have just done it." An essential part of what they are trying to express is that what has been done is still, in a sense, part of now.
Anonymous:
ıf you use "was" :it means calculation is finished in the past .

if you use "has been ":it means caltulation finished recently.

thats all

but for the text to use "was" will betetr than to use " has been " because meauserment is clear : 30 mıles. and certain
Anonymous:
thanks your reply , i am very happy due to simply explanation

regards

N.siva prasad

Contracts in HCC

Lucknow
Anonymous:
If you are citing a specific calculation or study, then use "was calculated". If you are refering to something that has been calculated in the past, but your are not citing a specific study, use "has been".

Example: " In a study of population distribution of western songbirds by Grossner 1997, the average distrubution of nesting pairs was calculated to be 25 pairs per square mile."

or

" In historical studies of western songbird populations, the average distribution of nesting pairs has been calculated to be 25 pairs per square mile."
Anonymous:
Thank you so much for ur answer its very literally good answer.. keep doing this..
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