In the dictionary, the verb "to be" has the meaning exist and the meaning occur/take place. What is the exact meaning of be in sentence below?

There have been enormous advances in technology.


This is a passive voice construction. It could also be written

Enormous advances in technology have taken place.

  • As per my understanding, in passive voice, past participle form of the verb is used after has/have been. But past participle form is missing in the sentence. – Sa1 Oct 29 '16 at 2:45
  • English uses "be" and "have" in lots of ways, it's confusing. "There have been 2 world wars" (= "2 world wars have taken place") and "There has been only one Summer Olympics in Helsinki" are valid sentences too. – John Feltz Oct 29 '16 at 3:10
  • This is not a passive construction: "have been" is active present perfect. You are perhaps misled by the fact that it employs the existential construction there BE, which moves the semantic subject of the sentence into the predicate--but that's just information packaging. – StoneyB Oct 29 '16 at 10:22

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