I have found on Google a sentence " Can an animal love again after having been abandoned?"

Does it have the same meaning as " Can an animal love again after being abandoned? Or Can an animal love again after it has been abandoned? "

To me, they are the same. But "having been Ed" is like the past perfect and "being Ed" is like past perfect.

2 Answers 2


Let’s try a different sentence: “Can a cruise ship be used for passengers after having been/being sunk?”

I would say, the perfect case, “having been,” is called for. If the vessel were still on the ocean floor, obviously, it could not carry passengers. It was sunk, and then re-floated and presumably refurbished. Its unfortunate status, its sunk-ness, is in the past; it is “perfected” in the grammatical sense.

With an abandoned animal, it too has been un-abandoned somehow; it has been adopted or rescued or re-homed, so we should say it “had been abandoned”.

However, the point of the sentence is that, perhaps, being abandoned is like being orphaned: it never really goes away. Once abandoned, the animal will always being alienated from humankind to some extant.

This difference is subtle, at best, and I think a lot of native English speakers would not notice it.


The two versions mean almost exactly the same thing, but have a slightly different flavor

after being abandoned

literally deals with the state of abandonment, such as feelings of despair or confusion. In this case, it is completely animal-centric.

after having been abandoned

literally deals with the act of abandonment. It implicates the person who abandoned the animal in addition to the animal itself.

The difference is very subtle and probably would not be noticeable to many native speakers.

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