English is my second language and I have always been confused with 'have been/has been' and the idea that it could be replaced with 'was' in some contexts.

For instance, this is a part of an urgent email about a bomb threat:

An unconfirmed bomb threat has been received. The halls are being evacuated. More info to follow.

My doubt is: why couldn't it be 'was received' and what that would change?

Another example:

The thumbnails base has been updated.

Many times, I see 'have/has been' in something that could be 'was' from my understanding.

This is a question I have been asking myself for a long time.

I would appreciate if someone could help me.

Thank you!

marked as duplicate by Scott, tchrist Aug 31 '18 at 2:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


Had/has/have been is usually used for something that was done in the past and still applies (multiple events).

Was/were usually applies to something done in the past that no longer applies (single event).

for the complete explanation, please visit this link.

hope that answer ur question

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