was, has been, had been

raisingfink   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 08:00 GMT
Hi. It's been a while since I last posted a Q. I am stumped and am in urgent need of clarification.

In the sentence below, what should I use?
"The memorandum seeks to obtain Man's approval for UK to ratify the Acts which were/was/ have been/has been/ had been approved by the council in Tanjung Jaya, in 2002.

Any explanations? Can we use was, has been, had been interchangeably?
mjd   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 08:45 GMT
Well you're dealing with acts (plural). Your choices are "were" or "have been." "Were" is a bit more distant in the past whereas "have been" is not as distant..."have been" would give the feeling that this approval was in the near past or is still going on. Since they were approved in 2002, I'd say "were" is a good choice.

Also...for THE U.K. (don't forget the "the").
raisingfink   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 23:54 GMT

I get confused over "have/has been" with "had been." Any difference? When do we use "have/has been" and when do we use "had been"?
Chilli   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 14:44 GMT
Ummm... you're wandering into confusing past/present perfect/progressive territory there.

Rather than me copying and pasting down huge wodges of internet babble, just click on the link below. It gives you some idea but with only one example.

dian   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 03:34 GMT
For me, the use of past tense and perfect tense is rather difficult. Unless, there's a statement like "yesterday", "last year", etc. Often, I have to think about: "is this a general statement?" or "is this a past tense?"

For example. I want to write something like this: "I am glad that finally Arjen Robben [is/was] finally selected by Duth national coach". The fact is the selection itself was made two days before. But, I have written: "I am glad that..."

Which one is correct? Is or Was?