Author Topic: Somebody /something has been done vs somebody/something is done  (Read 9391 times)


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For the verb "to do" which represents all transitive verbs for this purpose, can the following always be true?
It has been done =It is done
1.I have been punished = I am punished.
2.It has been repaired= It is repaired.
3.She has been told=She is told.
4.It has been washed= It is washed.
5.It has been eaten=It is eaten
It has been killed=It is killed
Oxford practical English Usage says that this case is true for all verbs of finished action. What are verbs of finished action?
What I know is the following alternatives:
I have been done or I was done (although the time is different)
e.g.1.I have been punished. or I was punished.
2.It has been repaired. or It was repaired.
3.She has been told. or She was told.
4.It has been washed. or It was washed.
Thank you in advance for your brotherly support

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Re: Somebody /something has been done vs somebody/something is done
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 04:26:23 pm »
Big questions here Peaceforall...

Firstly, all your questions are iin the passive voice - an action that has been carried out to one person/thing by another person/thing. This is unusual usage in native speaker English but, of course, does happen. The passive voice is normally used when either:
1. We don't know who carried out the action - the dog has been shot; or
2. The "object" of the action is more important than the "subject" - Oh no! My dog has been shot by my friend.

To say "it has been done = it is done" rather depends on the sense....
1. My dog has been shot - yes, unfortunately, my dog is still injured/dead. But:
2. My windows have been cleaned - but they might be dirty again by now.
So, it does not imply a permanent state - but, yes, a state that certainly did exist in a time before now.

The "present perfect" implies before now:
I have lived here for 28 years
I have lived in Africa

The "simple past" implies a period in the past that separate from now - defined or implied:
I lived in Kenya from 1979 to 1981
I live in Kenya for 2.5 years (implied - I don't live there now).

You might like to look at some of the material my wife has prepared (it's all free) at

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,