Can anyone explain to me what the deference between "had/have been" and "was" in Passive Voice. ... for instance: "I was invited" and "I had been invited" or this one "She showed me the article which had been translated by her brother" and what's wrong if I'll say "She showed me the article which was translated by her brother"? In which cases I should say like that? Thank you.
Oct 23, 2012 1:09 AM
Answers · 3
"I was invited" implies a specific event at a specific past time, for example, if I received an invitation in the mail yesterday to Event A. "I have been invited" might be used if I wanted to say that I have been invited to Event A every year for the past 10 years. The emphasis is less on one specific event at one specific time than the habitual or overall nature of the occurrence. It can also imply not only past but ongoing, if I expected to be invited again this year. "I had been invited" would be used as a time comparison to another past event, for example, I might say I had accepted an invitation to Event B before I was invited to Event A.
October 23, 2012
Hi, malik! I agree with Rebecca, but will add link to similar answer of mine from a couple of days ago, in case it helps. The passive nature of your sentences has no effect on the past vs. present perfect differentiation that you are asking about. The key point is this: perfect is used when you are linking the past action with some other event in the past, or showing continuation of the action into the present time. The specific nature of these linked events may be spoken or implied. see my examples if you like!
October 23, 2012
Oops, the last example I gave didn't stay with passive voice. Perhaps I should have written, "I had been invited to Event B before I received the invitation to Event A." Sorry for the carelessness.
October 23, 2012
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