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    #1

    have been in possible?

    According to the grammar texbook "have been" is always followed by "to".
    .
    "He heard,that they had been to Berlin for several months"

    OR

    " He heard, that they had been in Berlin for several months."

    If you want to emphasize that they are in the city, is it possible to say " been in Berlin"?

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    #2

    Re: have been in possible?

    "He heard that they had been to Berlin.
    means that they visited Berlin in the past.


    " He heard, that they had been in Berlin for several months."
    means they had been living in Berlin for some time, but not necessarily now.

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    #3

    Re: have been in possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    "He heard that they had been to Berlin.
    means that they visited Berlin in the past.


    " He heard, that they had been in Berlin for several months."
    means they had been living in Berlin for some time, but not necessarily now.
    You got 10 points for that explanation! Thanks

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    #4

    Re: have been in possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    "He heard that they had been to Berlin.
    means that they visited Berlin in the past.


    " He heard, that they had been in Berlin for several months."
    means they had been living in Berlin for some time, but not necessarily now.
    If the fact in the sentence refers to the present, can we not go one tense back?

    "He heard that they have been in Berlin for several months"

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    #5

    Re: have been in possible?

    ***Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.***

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    If the fact in the sentence refers to the present, can we not go one tense back?

    "He heard that they have been in Berlin for several months"
    No, say it this way:
    He heard, "They have been to Berlin for several months."
    If you don't split the sentence, you will use the reported speech.
    There you have to keep the tenses.
    (Sequence of tenses.)

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq
    "He heard that they had been to Berlin.
    means that they visited Berlin in the past.
    We had that topic several times and this statement is not true.

    It could mean they visited Berlin in the past, but it can also mean they are still there.
    In order to avoid such confusion you can rebuild the sentence.

    Cheers!

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