I have been to Iceland recently.


I had been to Iceland recently.

What is the difference between the two and which seems correct ?

  • 1
    They're correct in different circumstances. Also, these constructions are asked about very often; look them up under "present perfect" and "past perfect" (or "pluperfect"). Jun 16, 2017 at 4:44
  • Can you tell us where you found these sentences? Please use the edit link to tell us more about your question. Without more information, it is difficult for us to provide a useful answer. Jun 16, 2017 at 4:50
  • @P.E.Dant I found these questions in a English book which says to fill up the sentence with either "have been" or "had been". But, hey have given answer "had been" . That's where i am confused as I think "have been " is right here .
    – Garrick
    Jun 16, 2017 at 4:53
  • Please use the edit link to tell us more about these sentences. Try to provide the entire question. Without that, we can't help you, because neither sentence is "incorrect." Jun 16, 2017 at 5:02
  • You should be able to find an answer in the Canonical Post. Jun 16, 2017 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


They are both correct, but it depends on the context.

For example, if your time frame for answering the question includes the present, then

Have you been to Iceland?
Yes, I have been to Iceland.

your current state of having been to Iceland continues to the present.

However, if the time reference is in the past

Did you go to Iceland before Grímsvötn?
Yes, I had been to Iceland before the eruption.

  • In the second example, you may also choose to use simple past tense as the sequence of the events is very clear. Jun 17, 2017 at 10:18

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