Which tense to choose: "Is dinner ready? - I'm afraid, it isn't. The potatoes are not done/haven't been done yet."


To say the potatoes are not finished cooking

The potatoes are not done yet.
the potatoes are not finished cooking

If you say

The potatoes haven't been done.
the potatoes have not been prepared yet

that would mean no preparation has been made for the potatoes e.g. they have not been boiled to make mashed potatoes, in the second sentence "done" = "prepared".

  • Thank you very much. So, according to your answer, the second sentence isn't correct, is it? – Helen Feb 13 '17 at 16:18
  • The second sentence is grammatically correct, it's just that it has a different meaning. Eventhough "The potatoes are not prepared yet" can be used in both circumstances "have not been done" implies there are several steps to prepare the potatoes. – Peter Feb 13 '17 at 19:30
  • I have changed this question. Could you tell me if both answers are still OK now, please? – Helen Feb 14 '17 at 7:51
  • The meaning of your question has not changed, and so the meaning of the answers have not changed either. – Peter Feb 14 '17 at 15:58

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