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    #1

    What is the difference between "have been, was and had been sick"?

    I would like to make up an example below.

    (ex) John asks, "I have not seen you for a long time. Where have you been?"

    (a) Mary answers, "I have been sick."
    (b) Mary answers, "I was sick."

    I think the past participle in (a) means that Mary is still sick and the simple past in (b) means that she just recovered from her sickness.

    What about "I had been sick."? Does the past perfect mean that her sickness lasted for a long time? Now, she is okay.

    I am very confused about the different tenses in these sentences. Could someone please explain my question? Thank you for helping me.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What is the difference between "have been, was and had been sick"?

    As you say, "I was sick" indicates that the sickness has ended. "I have been sick", on the other hand, admits the possibility that the sickness is continuing.

    "I had been sick" is incorrect in the context of your hypothetical conversation.

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    #3

    Re: What is the difference between "have been, was and had been sick"?

    Thanks probus. When can I use "I had been sick."?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What is the difference between "have been, was and had been sick"?

    In the same context you would use any other verb in the past perfect. Do you understand how to use the past perfect?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: What is the difference between "have been, was and had been sick"?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    As you say, "I was sick" indicates that the sickness has ended. "I have been sick", on the other hand, admits the possibility that the sickness is continuing.

    "I had been sick" is incorrect in the context of your hypothetical conversation.
    can you explain why "i had been sick" is wrong in terms of hypothetical conversation ?

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    #6

    Re: What is the difference between "have been, was and had been sick"?

    w20grippy, please edit your post to put right the incorrect capitalisation.

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