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What are the differences in meaning between these two sentences:

  1. He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four. (Past Simple Passive)
  2. He has just been offered a well-paid job with Radio Four. (Present Perfect Passive)

Both are grammatically correct, but what are the real meaning if I use #1 / #2?

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  • @PartTimer Please read through this FAQ. The questions that you have asked before should be listed on your profile page ... Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 9:01
  • Is this American English or British English?
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 9:26
  • This is British English. Is this the reason why both sentences have different meaning to each other?
    – Part Timer
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 9:39

2 Answers 2

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Both are grammatically correct, but (1) is not idiomatic usage in British English.

  1. He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four.
  2. He has just been offered a well-paid job with Radio Four.

British English speakers might use the active form:

  1. I have just offered him a well-paid job with Radio Four.
  2. (colloq.) I just offered him that job!

I believe the reason is that He was offered connotes an event some time in the past, and contradicting that with just sounds odd. It's understood though, probably because it is used thus in American English (I believe).

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    Might not he was just offered mean he was only offered? Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 13:56
  • @Tim Yes, but in the context of the question which matches (1) and (2) as broadly equivalent, it doesn't :-)
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:00
  • I'd disagree that "He was just offered..." is not ideomatic. It's not quite as common as "He has just been offered..." but it's used often enough where I live (English North Midlands) to be familiar. To me "He was just offered..." sounds as though the offer was in the immediate past (maybe he's just come out of his performance review meeting) as opposed to "He has just been offered..." which could apply on that timescale but could also still be used a couple of days later.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 2:36
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"He has just been offered a well-paid job with Radio Four" sounds more recent and has the intended effect in terms of communicating the timing of the offer. It uses the right tense as the present perfect tense is used to talk about events that occurred very recently.

"He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four" sounds a bit awkward and doesn't effectively tell the listener about when exactly the job was offered - recently or sometime in the past.

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