Today we will have a quick lesson on past verb tenses.
24 new wells have been drilled in 2012.
There are two things wrong with this sentence. First, you should never start a sentence with a numeral. Either spell out “Twenty-four” (yes, that’s hyphenated), or add a word or two before the numeral, such as “About 24” or “In total, 24.”
The second thing wrong with this sentence is that the passive verb tense used here should be simple past (was done), not present perfect (has been done).
In total, 24 new wells were drilled in 2012.
Let’s do another one, this time with a plural subject.
Core porosities have been measured last year. (have been done)
Core porosities were measured last year. (were done)
Here is the explanation:
“Has been done” is a present perfect passive tense, which should be used for an action that happened at an unspecified time in the past. You should not use this tense when the time is specified. Use the simple past passive “was done” instead.
The well has been completed last week and brought on production.
The well was completed last week and brought on production.
Here’s a quiz question:
The castle ……… built in the 15th century.
B) has been
Correct answer is A, “was built,” because the time is specified (15th century).
“Was built” is the passive form of the simple past tense, whereas “has been built” is the passive form of the present perfect tense, which is not appropriate because the sentence mentions that the action was completed at a specific time in the past. Use the simple past tense (was done) for that.
Now that you know the rule, here is a practice quiz for you on this topic:
Profound Quotes of the Day:
“When one has success, the answer is not to undo that success. It is to continue what has been done.”
– Charles Schumer, US Senator, NY-D, b. 1950
“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.
– Buddha, sage of the Shakya Republic, 563-483 BC