This question is about the usage of was and has.

Which sentence is correct?

  1. The match will resume from where it was stopped.

  2. The match will resume from where it has stopped.

What is the difference between was and has in this scenario?

  • 1
    Have you come across active and passive?
    – Hugh
    Jul 9, 2019 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


They are very different constructions, though both are (probably) possible here.

First, note that stop, like many verbs denoting a change of state, can be used both transitively and intransitively:

The boy stopped the ball. (transitive)

The ball stopped (intransitive).

The transitive use usually implies that the stopping was caused by something external, whereas the intransitive use does not.

The transitive use, like any transitive verb, can be made passive:

The ball was stopped [by the boy]

As usual for a passive, the agent is optional; but "The ball was stopped" implies an external agent, unlike "the ball stopped".

We would not normally talk about a match stopping without an external agent:

The referee stopped the match.


? The match stopped.

is dubious. We'd normally used a word like "finished" or "ended"; and any other way it stopped would be from an external cause.

Now, what about "has stopped"?

"Has" + past participle is how we form the present perfect, of the active verb. So "The match has stopped" is very like "The match stopped" (intransitive), but with a perfect instead of a simple past. Perfect is used when the speaker wants to express that an event in the past has some present relevance.

I think that (leaving aside the unlikelihood of talking about a match stopping without external influence, as I discussed above), the present perfect is much less likely here than the simple past "from where it stopped"; but it is possible.

  • And in the case of scientific instrumentation, there's also the case of 'commanded time' vs. 'completed time'. (the instrument is told to shut down at a given time, but it takes some time to actually do it ... so you might have a case where it "was stopped at 8:00am" but "had [actually] stopped at T08:00:02.756". I don't know if other fields make this distinction (like stopping a train ... not an instantaneous thing)
    – Joe
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:08

Both sentences are grammatical. They can both be used in the same contexts, with the same results.

The sentences differ only in the Wh- clause at the end: [American pronunciation]:

  1. from where it was stopped [frəmˌwɛɹɪʔwɨ'stapt]
  2. from where it has stopped [frəmˌwɛɹɪɾɨ'stapt]

Phonetically, the boldfaced portions above are almost identical. But they have different structures.
It's normal in languages to have many ways to state a situation.

The big difference between was and has here is largely that each auxiliary marks a different construction when it appears before a past participle.

  • Forms of be with a past participle mark the Passive Construction, which can only occur with the participle of a transitive verb. A transitive verb is a verb that has both a subject and a direct object. Stop, like many verbs, can occur either transitively (He stopped the car) or intransitively (The car stopped). In (1), was stopped is a passive formed from transitive stop.

  • Forms of have with a past participle mark the Perfect Construction, which can occur with any verb, transitive or intransitive. In (2), has stopped is a Perfect formed from intransitive stop. The Perfect Construction has four different senses; (2) is the Existential sense, describing an ongoing situation that is still relevant.

So in (1) we're talking about some unspecified agent stopping the game, whereas in (2) we're talking about the game stopping by itself (or at least without mentioning any outside cause).

The two auxiliaries was and has don't mean anything, so there really isn't any difference between them, as such. They're just markers, and they mark different things, and those things happen to point at the same set of circumstances, in this case. That's really common, as I said; in fact, it's the norm.


The match will resume from where it was stopped.

This is correct, because the match was stopped some time in the past, even if it was just a second ago.

The match will resume from where it has stopped.

You would only use "has" in the context of something like, "Why aren't they playing the game? Because it has been stopped."

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