There is the sentence "The group was upgraded to a super-group", and it's weird because the message will be showed for me when I decide to upgrade my conference to super-group:

I've clicked on "Upgrade" and the conference is upgraded and after this I see the message the conference has been/was upgraded. That's why I don't understand why there is "was upgraded" instead of "has been upgraded". Explain me that, please.

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Has/have been vs was/were – Manhatton Jun 23 '18 at 13:21
  • Note that "explain me that" is ungrammatical. – tchrist Jun 23 '18 at 14:11
  • [will be shown] – Lambie 3 hours ago

I'm not sure why you find the sentence "weird". The action happened and it is complete, so the simple past is perfectly acceptable.

I just got out of a meeting with the city planning commission where I was given approval for my construction project.

In this case the approval is a single, discrete action. There is no need for the present perfect which often implies continuous or repeated actions that continue up to the present moment.

In the case of your example, it's a difference that makes little difference:

The group was upgraded. (Upgrading is a discrete action that is complete)

The group has been upgraded (Upgrading is an ongoing process that is now complete).

The use of "was" vs. "has been" simply reflects the opinion of the designer, whether that person thinks of the upgrade as a single, short event, or as a process that takes time.

Side note: The writers of an application should make sure all of this kind of messaging is consistent -- they shouldn't use "was" in some cases and "has been" in others. This consistency helps the end user feel the application is stable and reliable -- that it will always return consistent results.

| improve this answer | |
  • For example: if a player is cheating in a game and an administrator decide to ban him, the violator gets ban and he instantly gets the message "You have been banned from the server". Why not "was" but "have been"? – user304473 Jun 23 '18 at 17:13
  • "has been" is used to introduce news, like in your example "you have been banned" and is more common in British English, whereas "was" is more common in American English. – anouk Jun 23 '18 at 21:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.