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    #1

    It has been discovered or It is discovered

    An exercise about grammar provides some news headlines to be rewritten in passive way.

    1. Water Discovered on Mars
    Model answer: It has been discovered there is water on Mars.

    2. Terrorist believed to be operating in Berlin
    Model answer: It is believed that terrorists are operating in Berlin.

    But why can't the first and second examples be rewritten as "It is/was discovered there is water on Mars." and "It has been believed that terrorists are operating in Berlin.". In this case, please advise what kind of rule should be followed so that I can use these tenses precisely. Thanks.
    Last edited by cyrusevilming; 15-Nov-2015 at 08:38.

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    #2

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    I would use Water has been discovered on Mars rather than the model answer. The discovery is a fairly recent one, which is why the present perfect is used rather then the past simple. You only discover someone once, so the present simple doesn't work for me.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    I agree with Tdol about the first. For the second, I suggest "Terrorists are believed to be operating in Berlin." I am not sure where the model sentences came from but they are needlessly complicated.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    There's a subtle difference between the sentences.
    What has been discovered - Water (on Mars) or that there is water on Mars?
    I'm still not sure whether they are claiming the first based on the second. If they have discovered a situation which can only come about if water has been present, does this mean they've discovered water?

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    For me it is a distinction without a difference.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    If I am walking across a desert and see a small pond, I have discovered water.
    If I see merely some healthy-looking plants growing, I have not discovered water, but I have discovered that there is water.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    That hardly works for Mars. One would not know what is needed for healthy plants on Mars.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    Hydrated salts are apparently evidence of the existence of water: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/n...n-today-s-mars

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    If one discovers water on Mars, there is water on Mars. If one discovers that there is water on Mars, one has likely found water on Mars. The rest of this "nuance" argument is all speculation and hypothesis. it serves no purpose.

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: It has been discovered or It is discovered

    It serves a purpose for me. I am interested in some of the nuances of language. Raymott suggested a possible difference in meaning in two ways of conveying information that I thought was interesting. If it doesn't interest you, then simply ignore it.

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