Which sentence is correct?

  1. Why has my order not shipped out?


  1. Why is my order not shipped out?

Can someone tell me the grammatical rule on this? When do I use “has” and when do I use “is”?


Neither one is really correct because you're asking whether someone else has done something with your order, which uses a passive construction. The idiomatic way to ask is

Why has my order not been shipped out?

This is because, in statement form, the company has shipped your order, so your order has been shipped by the company.

(To make things more confusing, people do sometimes say "The order shipped yesterday", using an active construction, but this is a rather slangy, informal usage.)

To answer your larger question about is vs. has:

We use is with adjectives, and with participles in the present continuous tense or passive constructions in the present. Basically, use is if we're talking about something happening right now.

  • My friend is afraid. / Is my friend afraid?
  • My friend is running away. / Is my friend running away?
  • Fruit is eaten by bears. / Is fruit eaten by bears?
  • My friend is being eaten by a bear. / Is my friend being eaten by a bear?

We use has with participles in the present perfect. Basically, use has if we're talking about something in the past that remains true.

  • My friend has fallen down. / Has my friend fallen down?
  • My friend has been eaten by a bear. / Has my friend been eaten by a bear?

(Note that these are not the only things you could use - you could also say "my friend had been eaten by a bear" or "my friend was eaten by a bear" - but you asked specifically about is vs. has.)

  • 2
    I disagree that we absolutely need “been” there.... “Your order has shipped.” “Why hasn’t my order shipped?” both seem valid and not informal or “slangy“ to me. An excerpt from a receipt from a large company: If your order contains physical products, you will receive a separate email notification when your products have shipped. not “have been shipped”.
    – ColleenV
    May 14 at 14:53
  • (And that is not my downvote. I think the other parts of your answer are accurate)
    – ColleenV
    May 14 at 17:00

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