In writing a paragraph, how can we use "had been" sometimes, but on other occasions we can use "was" rather than "had been"? So, how do I decide which to use?


Had been is usually used in passive voice sentences.
If you say

The work had been completed by January 2019.

The work was completed on 21st January 2019.

There is a difference between these two sentences. Had been is used for the period of time when the exact timing is not known. If you use was it refers to the exact moment.

  • thanks.but if there is no specific time or moment mentioned then how we can use them? – Samreen Nazia Mar 22 '19 at 14:43
  • These are both in the passive voice... – Mixolydian Mar 22 '19 at 15:30
  • I do not say that only had been is used in passive voice. Was can also be used in passive voice – Kshitij Singh Mar 22 '19 at 15:39

Here are some examples

This was the way of life back then.

This had been the way of life.

There is the difference between the sentences, and it is not just at the was or the had been. The was has back then and the had been does not need that.

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