Unit 1.1

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.  {See There is and there are, A1 level.

We find them in their three forms:

Affirmative

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

Negative

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

Interrogative

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

*Been is the past participle of to be. {see Past Participle, A2 level}

Example

There has been

  • There has been an accident on New Year’s Eve.
  • There hasn’t been an accident on New Year’s Eve.
  • Has there been an accident on New Year’s Eve?

There have been

  • There have been duplicated pictures of him.
  • There haven’t been duplicated pictures of him.
  • Have there been duplicated pictures of him?

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.

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

NOTE: Been is the past participle of to be. {see Past Participle, A2 level}

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


License

English Grammar B1 Level Copyright © 2018 by books4languages. All Rights Reserved.