Which question is right?

Have you ever been had a bomb alert?


Have you ever had a bomb alert?

  • These two questions are from the test. Need to choose only 1 without any changes. Thanks a lot for help. – user89173 Feb 1 '19 at 16:05

The correct version would be "Have you ever had a bomb alert"

if you were to say "Have you ever BEEN had a bomb alert" it would come off as incredibly confusing to English speakers.

For example

"He had been in trouble" vs "He had in trouble"

In that situation "He had been in trouble would be the correct usage, the reason is that you can "be" in trouble whereas you cannot "be" in a bomb alert.

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The answer depends on what the question means. It might mean have you been involved in a bomb alert or has there been a bomb alert.

We frequent use the expression been in to mean experienced or been involved in.

Have you ever been in a fire drill?
Have you ever been in cycle race?
Have you ever been in a police chase?
Have you ever been in a traffic accident.

These constructions are perfectly idiomatic.

On the other hand, for example, a policeman might receive a call to the effect that there had been a bomb scare at a building. The policeman might inquire of the receptionist: Have you had a bomb alert, meaning have you been alerted to a bomb.

It is hard to know which situation the examiner had in mind as both answers are possible. But in practice, the second scenario is more likely than the first.

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