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Which one is correct?

  1. We should have taken this threat much more seriously and have been much better prepared.

  2. We should have taken this threat much more seriously and have much better prepared.

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  • The first one is correct. The second one would be correct if you change it to "We should have taken this threat much more seriously and prepared much better." Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 15:28
  • Is the first one passive?
    – Rocky
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 15:47
  • It is not passive.
    – user110685
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:07
  • Why we use 'been' here? Can we use 'we would be much better prepared'
    – Rocky
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:38

1 Answer 1

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Simplifying the question by removing as much as possible, these are the two forms in question:
1 We should have been prepared. --> we are prepared .
2 We should have prepared. --> we ought to prepare

As for number 1, it could be read as passive, but that is an unlikely reading To be passive, "prepared" would have to be used in a transitive sense.
For example, you could say "Management prepared us for the threat." Then you could passivize that like this: "We should have been prepared by the management to meet this threat."
However, without the added words forcing that interpretation, "prepared" will be understood as an adjective, and "should have been" as a form of "to be", so 1 is a modified form of "we are prepared", subject, copulative verb, adjective.

2 As it is, this example is using an unusual word order and is hard to read. The usual way of saying the last few words would be "and should have prepared much better." In 2, "prepared" is just the past tense of the verb "prepare".

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  • Not clear. Can anyone explain it better?
    – Rocky
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 8:19

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