Grammar for IELTS- What is the use of "Has Been", "Have Been" & "Had Been"?

There always remains a struggle in learning a new language. Without knowledge of perfect grammar, you can understand the language, or maybe you can speak too, but mistakes will go hand in hand. It’s better to practice a new language's grammar first. English grammar has a set of rules without which the language has no spice of understanding. As earlier articles, here we come up with a new grammar topic of helping verbs describing the usage of ‘has, have, had' along with ‘been’.

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As Helping Verbs

Has, have, had are the helping verbs that are used in the perfect tense.

  • ‘Has and have’ describe that action has been completed in past but its effect can be felt in present also.
  • ‘Had', on the other hand, is used in the past perfect tense which is used to describe that action has been completed in past before some other action. (Kaam ho chuka hai).

For example:-

  • I have studied English.
  • My watch had broken yesterday.
  • He has cooked the rice.

Now, the question arises, where to use has, have and had?

The answer is simple. ‘has and have' are the helping verbs, which are used in the present tense only. Had is to be used in past tense. For describing future actions, ‘have' is to be used with will always.

Usage of ‘has and have':-

▶️ Has

Has is a singular verb that is to be used with singular nouns and pronouns. Like, he, she, it or any singular noun.

For example:-

  • This bucket will not work. It has holes.
  • John has used the mobile phone.

▶️ Have

Have is a plural noun that is to be used with plural nouns and pronouns. Like, I, we, you, they or any plural noun.

For example:-

  • These buckets will not work. These have holes.
  • John and Michael have used the mobile phone. (Two persons plural)

Usage of ‘had’

▶️ Had

Had is a past tense verb. It is only used in sentences to describe an action done in the past. No matter what is written above it, had is always used. Like, with singular or plural nouns and pronouns, had is to be used.

For example:-

  • I had completed my work. (Mai apna kaam complete kar chuka tha)
  • We had watched the movie. (Hum movie dekh chuke the).

As Main Verbs

Also, ‘has, have, had’ can be used the main verb in a sentence describing that something has been taken.

For example:-

I am having my tea. (Mai apni tea le raha hu).


I had my tea. (Maine tea pee li thi).

In the above sentences, there is no verb other than ‘has and have’. So besides being used as helping verbs, these can be used as main verbs too.

Sometimes, the usage of has, have, had to go hand in hand as helping verbs and main verbs. Some of the examples of the sentences are:-

  • I have had my tea. (Mai tea le chuka hu).
  • She has had two children past five years. (Last 5 years me uske 2 bache uske paas aa chuke the).
  • He has had two surgeries back to back.

Hoping that you are clear with the above concept of has, have and had usage as a help or main verb in a sentence along with its Hindi translation. Now we are heading towards the usage of been along with it.


Been is a past form of the verb ‘be'. In my earlier article, the usage of the verb ‘be' and its forms have been cleared. You can refer to that. Been is always used in perfect form of tenses. It is used to describe an action which is been in action since past or is completed in past.

▶️ Usage of Has Been

Has been is used in the singular form. It is used with singular nouns and pronouns. Has been is to be used in present perfect tense where the action is described as being started in past and which is still in action.

For example:-

1. She has been working as a teacher since 2005.

2. He has been cooking for an hour.

The above sentences describe that an action has been started in past and still realizes its importance in present.

In the first example:- She started working as a teacher in 2005 and is still a teacher.

In the second example:- He started cooking an hour before and is still cooking.

Other than the above examples, has been being also used with verb's 3rd form in passive voice.

For example:-

  • John has sent the letter.
  • Passive- The letter has been sent by John.

▶️ Usage of Have Been

Similar to the usage of has been, have been is used with plural form of nouns and pronouns but in present tense only. It is used to describe an action which is started by two or more people and is still continuing.

For example:-

1. We have been working in this company since 1995.

2. John and Michael have been writing a novel for a year.

Again, we can use the verb’s 3rd form along with having been in a passive form of tense.

For example:-

Active- John has written the letters.

Passive- The letters have been written by John.

(In active form, John is singular, and that’s why has is used. But in a passive sentence, letters is plural, so have is used).

▶️ Usage of Had Been

Had been is used in the past form of tense. It is used to describe an action that was continued in past and completed in past only.

For example:-

1. I had been working as a teacher since 1995 when I got the promotion.

2. Martha had been walking 3 miles daily when she broke her leg.

When, for, since, before are the words, which you can use in the past perfect continuous tense. It is used to describe an action that was started in past, continued in past, and ended in the past before some action was pursued.

Also, had been and 3rd form of the verb is used in passive form.

For example:-

  • John had posted a letter.
  • A letter had been posted by John.
  • Martha had cooked the meal.
  • The meal had been cooked by Martha.

Important Exercises

▶️ Fill in with appropriate Verb (has/had/have been)

  • They ______ talking for an hour before Martha arrived.
  • The children _______ excited about the trip until it was cancelled.
  • Anna ______ working in this company for more than 10 years. (Still working)
  • The dogs ________ barking all night. (Still night)
  • You _______ so busy lately. I've barely had a chance to talk to you.
  • You _______ waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived.
  • Betty failed the final test because she _______ attending class. (Put not)


Had been
Had been
Has been
Have been
Have been
Had been
Had not been

▶️ Exercise for Present Perfect Continuous Tense

  • They ______ in this house for 15 years. (Live)
  • She _____ to learn French for two months. (Try)
  • He ______ satisfactory performance since his admission to the college. (Make)
  • I _______ for you since 3’o clock. ( wait)
  • Bret ______ basketball all day. (Play)


Have been living
Has been trying
Has been making
Have been waiting
Has been playing

▶️ Rewrite the sentences in Passive Voice

  1. Kerrie has paid the bill.
  2. I had opened the present.
  3. You have not sent the parcel.


The bill has been paid by Kerrie.
The present had been opened by me
The parcel has not been sent by you.

So, this was all about the usage of has been, have been and had been. We will surely come up with new topics of grammar. Keep practicing polishing your English skills and stay aware of Grammatical errors too.


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