In this sentence

... but I’d rather focus on the future rather than what's been

we see "been" at the end, I would never think to make it that way, I would put "was".

... but I’d rather focus on the future rather than what was

Please explain?


  • 1
    What does the “‘s” in “what’s” represent in your sentence? – ColleenV Jul 19 '18 at 16:49
  • 2
    "what has was" is not an acceptable English phrase. – DrMoishe Pippik Jul 19 '18 at 17:01
  • @ColleenV it's not my, I saw it on article on the web. I don't know. – R S Jul 19 '18 at 17:18
  • You should edit your question to explain where you found the sentence, and what you found when you tried to answer your question before posting here. See this post for some good advice for adding enough detail to your questions: ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/439/9161 More explanation of why you’re asking and what you already know will help you get good answers (and maybe some upvotes!) – ColleenV Jul 19 '18 at 17:23
  • 1
    I've edited to hopefully clarify your question, as it's a good one. Actually both "what has been" and "what was" work in this context. – Andrew Jul 20 '18 at 0:58

It's what's been because it's using the present perfect tense.

what's been is the same as what has been.

has been is the present perfect tense, which is made with to have + the past participle of a verb, and the past participle of to be is been. What has was doesn't make any sense, like DrMoishe Pippik says, because was is not the past participle of to be, and "has was" isn't correct conjugation.

What might be confusing you is that you could also say

I’d rather focus on the future rather than what was.

That is using the simple past was rather than the present perfect has been.

  • @standgon so, what was is correct. If been is past participle then what about was - what kind of past is it ? – R S Jul 19 '18 at 17:38
  • 1
    @RS - was is the simple past. – stangdon Jul 19 '18 at 18:34

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