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  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    It was found / it has been found

    The Internet habits of approximately 800 teens have recently been studied by scientists, with some positive findings. It was found that sites like Facebook, and surfing the Internet may actually play an important role in a teenager's development. The study has shown that US teens who were interested in Japanese cartoons picked up the Japanese language through online discussion groups.

    Myself, I would probably use the present perfect in the second sentence (It has been found). It seems to have the connection to the present... Or not?.. I don't know, frankly.

    Is it possible to use the present perfect in that sentence?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  2. #2
    tedmc is online now VIP Member
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    The study was carried out over a period of time up to the present, hence the present perfect is used.
    I think the same cannot be said of the finding which was probably a milestone within the study, hence the simple past tense is appropriate.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    The Internet habits of approximately 800 teens have recently been studied by scientists, with some positive findings. It was found that sites like Facebook, and surfing the Internet may actually play an important role in a teenager's development. The study has shown that US teens who were interested in Japanese cartoons picked up the Japanese language through online discussion groups.
    <SNIP>
    Is it possible to use the present perfect in that sentence?
    It would be odd. The previous sentence established the time frame; now we're talking about what happened at that time.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    I wouldn't have used "have recently been studied" in the first place.
    Either the scientists "have been studying" (and it continues) or the scientists "studied."

    If you must use the passive voice (UGH) then "have recently been studying" or "was recently studied."

    Is that an example of the American preference in the use of past simple over present perfect?

    If you are the writer... consider active voice. "They found that sites like..."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Is that an example of the American preference in the use of past simple over present perfect?
    That's an excerpt from the tests very likely made by non-native speakers of English and being used here in Belarus. Which variety of English it is (American or British) I can't tell, but I guess it's closer to British English.
    Last edited by GeneD; 05-Oct-2017 at 15:34.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  6. #6
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    It would be odd. The previous sentence established the time frame; now we're talking about what happened at that time.
    Could you please explain what you mean by "establishing the time frame"?

    I've recalled an explanation from a grammar book which might shed some light on the problem: "We use the present perfect to give new information. But if we continue to talk about it, we normally use the past simple.
    E.g.
    a. Ow! I've burnt muself.
    b. How did you do that?
    a. I picked up a hot dish."

    I'm not sure the explanation fits though. Did you mean this or something else?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  7. #7
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    The hot dish example doesn't work for me because as an American English speaker, I'd use the simple past in both sentences.

    Having reread the original text, I have to agree with Barb that it's in a passive style I wouldn't recommend emulating. It might be more useful to move on to some more fruitful territory than to learn how to reproduce that sort of writing.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I wouldn't have used "have recently been studied" in the first place.
    Either the scientists "have been studying" (and it continues) or the scientists "studied."
    I didn't think much about this before, but it's really interesting because the passive form for the present perfect continuous looks and sounds too heavy ("have recently been being studied"), and I can't recall I've ever seen it used in writing nor heard it in speech. Is that why the first sentence doesn't work for you? On one hand, the present perfect continuous would be preferable. On the other, it would look odd in its passive form. Do I see it right? And is that why you wrote the active form for the present perfect continuous in the following quote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If you must use the passive voice (UGH) then "have recently been studying" or "was recently studied."
    By the way, what "UGH" stands for? I've searched for the meaning of the acronym and found only "UnderGround Headquarters", "Ukulele Group of Hawaii" and the like.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  9. #9
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    what "UGH" stands for?
    It is a word: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d...ry/british/ugh
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: It was found / it has been found

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    Could you please explain what you mean by "establishing the time frame"?
    It has determined the time when it was found that ...
    I am not a teacher.

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