Unit 1.1

More exercises

There has been and There have been

Introduction

We use both there has/have been to talk about a situation that started in the past and lasted until the present day.

Form

There has/have been are the past forms of there is and there are.

We find them in their three forms: affirmative, negative, interrogative.

Affirmative

In the affirmative form they have these structures:

  • Singular nouns: There has + been + singular noun/uncountable noun + …
  • Plural nouns: There have + been + plural noun + …

Negative

In the negative form they have these structures:

  • Singular nouns: There has + not + been + singular noun/uncountable noun + …
  • Plural nouns: There have + not + been + plural noun + …

Interrogative

In the interrogative form they have these structures:

  • Singular nouns: Has there + been + singular noun/uncountable noun + …?
  • Plural nouns: Have there + been + plural noun + …?

NOTE: Been is the past participle of to be

Example

There has been:

  • There has been an accident on New Year’s Eve.
  • There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t missed you. 
  • Has there been any progress in the field of biotechnology?

There have been:

  • There have been two escape attempts in this jail.
  • There haven’t been many people as talented as him.
  • Have there been any calls from your mother?

Use

We use the structure there has/have been in sentences to confirm, deny or check that something existed in the past and continued in the present.

Summary

There has been (for singular or uncountable nouns) and there have been (for plural) are used when we want to confirm (in the affirmative), deny (in the negative) or check (in the interrogative) that something existed in the past and continued in the present.

They have the following forms:

  • affirmative: there has been followed by singular noun/uncountable noun (singular); there have been followed by plural noun (plural);
  • negative: there has not been followed by singular noun/uncountable noun (singular); there have not been followed by plural noun (plural);
  • interrrogative: has there been followed by singular noun/uncountable noun and interrogative mark (singular); have there been followed by plural noun and interrogative mark (plural).

For example:
— Affirmative: “There has been a strange trend lately.” (singular) / “There have been many earthquakes in this century.” (plural);
— Negative: “There hasn’t been a strange trend lately.” (singular) / “There haven’t been many earthquakes in this century.” (plural);
— Interrogative: “Has there been a strange trend lately?” (singular) / “Have there been many earthquakes in this century?” (plural).
♦ “There is a strange trend lately.”
= There is is the present form of there has been and is related to present situations that did not exist in the past. Therefore we cannot use it with the adverb lately as it connects the present to the past.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.


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