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Here are some examples:

  • Meanings have been are still in constant flux. (Source)
  • I'm afraid to say that in the past the police have been are too keen to caution people. (Source)
  • That's because those overseas clubs have been are able to negotiate those domestic rights themselves and not collectively as the Premier League clubs do. (Source)

Are these sentences grammatically correct? Why was have been not used?

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1  
It would be useful to show where those sentences came from. This sort of usage normally indicates an incomplete correction, where an edit has inserted the correct tense of the verb and not removed the incorrect one. –  Andrew Leach Mar 6 '13 at 7:53
    
None of these sentences is grammatical. Where did you find them? Who wrote them? They seem to be typographical errors: delete have been or are (S1 & S3) or delete both and replace with were, and they're all grammatical. –  user21497 Mar 6 '13 at 7:55
    
Added the links. I've been also confused about using are after have been, so asked this question. –  york.beta Mar 6 '13 at 8:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Each example is nothing more than a textual error. In the first, the writer meant "are," and in the other two, the writers intended to say "have been." "Have been are" appeared undoubtedly because of some mistake such as using one locution, then changing it to the other to fix the tense, then not deleting the first.

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None of these uses are grammatical.

In the case of the first (which is from an answer on this site!) I believe the author meant to say

Meanings have been and are still in constant flux.

The addition of and makes sense: meanings have been constantly changing in the past, and they are still undergoing metamorphosis today.

The others, both from BBC News, appear to be the result of incorrect editing. It's possible that quotations can be "massaged" to fit a particular point in the news story, and the author couldn't decide which tense would fit best and then left both in the story; or decided to change what they had originally written and didn't take out the wrong word(s).

Quote 2 in context is

The police aren't stopping and searching people and I'm afraid to say that in the past the police have been are too keen to caution people. I think we need to make it clear — no more cautions for people found carrying knives.

This is obviously wrong, but the change of tense may have been unclear in the original speech and the sub-editor hasn't really helped to put it right.

Quote 3 in context is

"Real, Barca and Italian giants like AC Milan have achieved a level of revenue from TV deals that English clubs will only realise next season," said Fynn.

"That's because those overseas clubs have been are able to negotiate those domestic rights themselves and not collectively as the Premier League clubs do."

Again, I believe this is the result of a sub-editor's attempt to regularise the tense used in the quote.

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They could also be examples of "have been/are" where the / is missing. –  coleopterist Mar 6 '13 at 11:57

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