When to use {have been + adjective} as both sentences look the same.

Can anyone explain when to use 'have been' and when to use only 'is/are'?

  1. You have been dishonest to me.

  2. You are dishonest to me.

  • It is more natural to say "...dishonest with me.
    – BillJ
    May 24, 2019 at 14:29
  • 'to' is wrong here?
    – Rocky
    May 25, 2019 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


"You have been dishonest to me." is in the present perfect tense, which is used to describe something that happened in the past, but the exact time it happened is not important. It has a relationship with the present. (ecenglish.com)

"You are dishonest to me." is in the present simple tense, which describes the current situation.

You can also use "have been" and verb, for example:

"I have been eating"

...which means I have been eating for some time including now. This is the perfect simple continuous tense. You can see more examples here.

  • I know the difference between simple present and the perfect one but sometimes we say like 'it has been' I want to know can we use this for any incident that just has happened. Like do you know we are in love with each other. I know it 'has been' and it will be.
    – Rocky
    May 24, 2019 at 15:03
  • "Have been" is typically used for the past events (let's say "remote" events) in which the time is not defined or important. In your particular case "have been dishonest" doesn't sound right for something what just happened, so you use "are." "Has been and will be" is very commonly used. You can use it for the case in your comment: It means that we have been in love (for some time) and we always will be.
    – Jan
    May 24, 2019 at 15:07
  • So I can say have/has/had been in sentences like this also. I told him don't be dupe by someone. Sorry to say but he had been.
    – Rocky
    May 24, 2019 at 17:12
  • Yes, probably. I would need to read a complete sentence to say, though.
    – Jan
    May 24, 2019 at 17:13
  • My actual question is when to use have/has/had+been. What is the criteria for that. Should we use only in verb 'be' situations. Like in this sentence 'he should be a champion don't worry he has already been in his mind'.
    – Rocky
    May 25, 2019 at 15:03

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