I'm trying to write the follwoing sentence:

A new study has been held by our university in 2016 [shows / showing / is showing / showed] that the new employees ....

but I don't know what I should use before that. I want to keep it simple so I think it should be:

A new study .. is showing that ...

but I checked some news on BBC website and I found the following:

  • Every couple of years a new study is published showing that echinacea ... link

  • What is more, a new study by the OECD , shows this narrowing of inequality was relatively short lived ... link

  • The new study out last week showed mixed results. link

My questions: Why they use gerund, simple past and simple present? can I use present continuous in my sentence?

I think present continuous is fit in the context (not sure), because it is new study, and now it is showing new results. maybe simple past and simple present also fine.

but I'm wondering why use gerund in the first example? shouldn't they use present continuous?

Every couple of years a new study is published, it is showing that echinacea ...


Are the following sentences grammatically correct? I would be grateful if anyone could help with analysing the following sentences.

  • A new study has been held by our university in 2016 showing that ...
  • A new study has been held by our university in 2016 shows that ...
  • 2
    "a new study is showing" and "a new study is published showing" are very different structures. In the first, a new study "is showing", which is unnatural considering they usually "show". "show" is a stative verb and it can't usually appear as a gerund.
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 6 '17 at 18:53
  • 1
    I won't go as far as saying it would be ungrammatical, but it would certainly be an unusual wording. And depending on whether it's the right verb, you could use "show". If I wanted to make it sound formal, I would've chosen another verb, but there is no info about the context you're using this in.
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 6 '17 at 19:09
  • 2
    You can make the grammar as complicated as you like, but good style is to keep it simple: "A new study shows ..."
    – Andrew
    Mar 6 '17 at 19:16
  • 1
    You really mess up your own sentence with that "has been held" part. @Andrew is right; you should say: A new study [held by our university in 2016] shows that... (The part in square brackets is optional, but use "held by," not "has been held by.")
    – J.R.
    Mar 6 '17 at 19:45
  • 1
    @J.R. You could do it if you make it two sentences :P A new study has been held by our university in 2016. It shows... :D Though, that's still not really right. That tense is just bad for this case. It was held. "has been held" implies that it's ongoing... and it's not. "Has been held" would be appropriate if it were annual, not if it was a single event.... so A new study has been held by our university annually since 1994...
    – Catija
    Mar 6 '17 at 21:07

Your problem is that you shouldn't use "has been held" to talk about something that occurred once and is over. The best use case for "has been held" is when you're talking about a recurring event, i.e. the study has been held every year for the last decade [and is still being held].

If the study is over and was a one-time-only event, you really just shouldn't use this form. Instead, you need to use the past tense. As J.R. suggested:

A new study [held by our university in 2016] shows that...


A (new) study, {conducted | completed | held} by our university in 2016, {shows | has shown} that ....

The present perfect asserts a relevance to the present, and so has shown is fine. You wouldn't want to use the present perfect in the clause that states when the study was conducted ("...in 2016") because that is indeed confined to the past; there, you'd use the simple past.

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