Is it wrong saying: "Have that been + (verb in past participle)"

For example: Have that been shown. Also, is it formal or not?


EDIT Let me give you some context: I am doing a math paper (for college) in which I present a formula and then, so as to get some results, I must refer back to it. Since then, I would not like to say: "Now, let's use the formula above so that achieve the further results." I would rather write in a fancier way, using, if possible, presente perfect and/or passive.


3 Answers 3


After correcting minor syntax errors, the meaning OP intends is something like...

Now, let's use the formula above so that [+we can] achieve the further results

...but he wants to express this in a "fancier" (more formal) way. In which context it's worth noting that "imperative" let's is a relatively informal construction in the above.

Possible alternatives include:

1: Having shown [you] the formula, I will [now] use it [in some practical examples]
2: The formula having been shown, we can use it [to solve a problem]

(where the text in brackets is whatever you intend to talk about next).

The second form above isn't very "natural". I've only really included it to show how the passive verb form works differently in such contexts. Note that in #1, the "subject" of having can only be the first noun after the comma (I)1. But because #2 is a passive usage (where that "subject" is unspecified, unknown), it's fine to follow it with either I can use it OR we will use it.

That's to say, with version #2, the current speaker may be the person who showed the results earlier, but it's always possible that was done by a previous speaker. But it's a bit meaningless to talk about "ambiguity" here, since obviously the audience know perfectly well who just showed them the formula without having to be explicitly told!

1 Note that the construction having [verbed] [subject] [verb] is a stylistically reduced version of [subject] having [verbed] [subject] [verb]. So...

having eaten, John went to bed
...is semantically / syntactically equivalent to...
John having eaten, he went to bed
(for stylistic reasons, we wouldn't usually repeat John, or start with He and switch to John after the comma; but they're perfectly "valid" forms).

  • Well, that was exactly what I have been looking for! Thanks a lot!
    – Mr. N
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 15:51
  • Another question, could I use "As shown" in order to refer back?
    – Mr. N
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:02
  • 1
    That's a very tricky aspect of usage! It's natural to use the adverbial introductory element as shown when referring back to some preceding explanation or demonstration that answers a "question". So it's fine to say something like As shown, this formula allows us to calculate the optimum temperature - if what you've just done is explain or demonstrate to them how to use the formula themselves (not if all you did was write the formula on the blackboard and point to it). Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:14
  • 1
    ...but you could have a contrived context where the thing being referred back to really is just "the formula", rather than some "process" involving the formula. Say you wrote the formula on the blackboard, but you "algebraically expanded" certain terms within it. But you knew that your students wouldn't understand those expanded terms, because they're very technical and advanced. You could then turn to them an say As shown, that formula will probably be puzzling to you. But you'll understand when I explain to you what those expanded terms mean. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:20
  • 1
    ...actually, in that last example, I'd say that as in as shown really does adverbially refer to just the verb show (as = in the way that [something has been shown]). In the more normal version, as shown collectively refers back to the entirety of whatever has been done to show something (usually, some kind of process or explanation). Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:24

Yes, it is wrong.

Have needs to be replaced by had.

The usual construction would be a hypothetical statement, such as:

Had that been shown, we would have seen it.

Alternatively, someone might say:

I will not have that being shown in my house.

Note that the verb needs to change from been shown to being shown.

  • First off, thanks. Secondly, what if I show something and then want to say that I showed. Should I say: It has been shown? Could I say Has it been shown?
    – Mr. N
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 15:16
  • 1
    Both are correct. The first is a statement. The second is a question. (But you can't say that I showed You need to add an object. Either I showed it or I have shown it. Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 11:00
  • And how it would be if it were in passive?
    – Mr. N
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 13:10

Yes it is wrong! You would have to say: "Has that been shown?", because "that" refers to an object that would be described by "it" and for those objects you always need to add an "s".

  • Thanks for the answer.
    – Mr. N
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 13:18

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