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Which one of these is correct.
a. Albert Einstien is the greatest genius the world has ever seen.
b. Albert Einstien has been the greatest genius the world has ever seen.
Thanks in anticipation.
So, you are saying a. is correct.
But my esteemed collague points out that since he is no longer alive, b. should be the correct answer.
Abraham Lincoln - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The idea was never commercialized, but Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent.
Lincoln died a long time ago, so he is not alive. Does your collague think that is is incorrect but "has been" is correct?
"Has been" is not correct in these sentences. "Has been" means we are looking back at something from the present viewpoint. Example: Lincoln has been dead since 1865. He WAS the greatest president...etc He IS still revered by the American people...etc. In the sentences given, "was" or "is" would be better than "has been". I am not a teacher, but I am an old Englishman with a thorough grasp of my own language..
ok. Thanks. So, just modifying these sentences a bit:
a. Albert Einstein is believed to be the greatest genius the world has ever seen.
b. Albert Einstein is believed to have been the greatest genius the world has ever seen.
Would you still go with a or has something changed and your preference would now shift to b?
In my opinion, both are wrong.
Sentence (a) is a little wrong, while sentence (b) is a lot wrong.
I suggest that the best version would be: AE was the greatest ...
The reason I say (a) is a little wrong is that present tense is not the best tense to use when stating an opinion. PT is used, generally, to state simple facts and recurring events. The sentence is trying to use the present tense to suggest a level of authority about the person's opinion, which is not really justifiable.
Still, I am a big fan of AE.
If you're treating it as a general truth, you use simple present. Whether Einstein is alive or not is irrelevant. Tenses are grammatical categories not a matter of history. Consider the historical present tense -- speaking about (past) historical events in present tense.
Present perfect is incorrect because it expresses a relation to the present, but you have no present point of reference in your sentence.
Einstein has been 'the greatest person the world has ever seen' up to now, today Barney has claimed that title!