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I often write what "sounds" right (being not a native English speaker/writer), and I believe the expression "that being said" to be fairly common, as opposed to a more complete form like "that's been said" or "Having said that".

In doubt, I turn to google fight, which seems to confirm the common usage. (not exactly the right reference, I know.)

Yet, I don't think that "that being said" is correct, especially in writing. "That said" is even more common. Is it also acceptable in writing?

What expression would you use in formal writing? (Not too formal though: like a technical forum)

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2 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Both "that said" and "that being said" are common (possibly too common) and perfectly grammatical, and sufficiently formal as well. "Having said that" is also correct, but to be correct the subject in what follows must be whoever said that (usually "I"). For instance, you can say:

  • Roses are usually red. That [being] said, they are also…

But you'd have to say:

  • I like turtles. Having said that, I will now proceed to show…

That said, if you don't follow it up with "I", many people wouldn't notice anything amiss these days.

"That's been said" is a full sentence (edit: complete clause), and it only means "That has been said". Full stop. It cannot be used to introduce the rest of the sentence in the same manner.

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Of course both of those require subjects. It looks to me like the difference is that (1) is a stative predicate ("being said"), so it need not have an agent or causer in subject position. (2) ("having said") is not stative and requires an agent of some kind. –  Alan Hogue Aug 6 '10 at 7:54
    
Yes of course, the sentence still requires a subject... probably I should have said it constrains you to a specific subject. :-) –  ShreevatsaR Aug 6 '10 at 8:56
    
What do you think of njd's comment below, about "That's been said" being incorrect? –  VonC Aug 7 '10 at 15:13
    
@VonC: As njd says, "That's been said" is incorrect when used in the same context as the other two. That's what I also said. As an independent stand-alone sentence, it is fine. –  ShreevatsaR Aug 7 '10 at 16:40
    
Got it now. Answer accepted. –  VonC Aug 7 '10 at 16:55
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To my ear, "that's been said" is actually wrong if used in this context. The other two, "that being said" and "having said that" are normal; I would say they are somewhat fossilized expressions. However, they aren't ungrammatical. For instance:

1) The car being washed, Hugo went home. (somewhat archaic sounding, but I think fine)

2) Having washed the car, Hugo went home. (perfect)

"That's been said" will sound distinctly odd if used in the same way, probably just because it is not a recognized idiom.

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Actually, I think it sounds odd even without taking into account how common the other expressions are. Consider: 3) * The car's been washed, Hugo went home. I think this has something to do with the difference in aspect, but I am not sure. Interesting! –  Alan Hogue Aug 6 '10 at 7:42
    
+1. The (a) correct phrasing of (3) would be "The car having been washed, Hugo went home" or "Having washed the car, Hugo went home". –  ShreevatsaR Aug 6 '10 at 7:45
    
Wait, I get it. "That's been said" is a passive construction. That's why it would sound so odd. –  Alan Hogue Aug 6 '10 at 7:57
    
Which is to say that it's a complete clause, unlike the other two. –  Alan Hogue Aug 6 '10 at 8:09
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"That's been said" is incorrect, and is just a mis-hearing of the correct phrase "That being said". Look up en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggcorn –  njd Aug 6 '10 at 16:38
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