Of all the changes that have taken place in English-language newspapers during the past quarter-century, perhaps the most far-reaching has been the inexorable decline in the scope and seriousness of their arts coverage.

I am learning to analyze long and short sentences in English.

In the above sentence, the preceding that introduces the attributive clause. Of all the changes is a prepositional phrase as an adverbial. The latter part should be the main clause.

perhaps the most far-reaching (change) has been the inexorable decline in the scope and seriousness of their arts coverage

I'm curious if the main clause here is the present perfect tense? Decline here should be a noun because the adjective inexorable is in front of it.

But the structure of the present perfect tense should be:
Present perfect tense: has done
present perfect continuous tense: has been doing

What is the usage of has been noun?


  • Why have you introduced the auxiliary verbs has done and has been doing when analysing has been in the cited text? In principle, something like The decline has been being inexorable is probably syntactically valid, but you'd normally only encounter forms like that in "Indian English". Sep 12, 2022 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


simple present: The most far-reaching change is the decline in something.

present perfect: The most far-reaching change has been the decline in something.

The struture you mentioned for present perfect tense could be changed to "have/has + past participle". Here "been" is the past participle of "is".


Of all the changes preposition/adverbial/attributive meaning outstanding from a global perspective
inexorable decline adjective-noun
has been present perfect progressive

Noun has been = person or thing considered to be outdated or became insignificant

  • How is has been the present perfect progressive? I don't see any progressive in there. Progressive would be like has been working, has been sleeping, etc.
    – stangdon
    Sep 12, 2022 at 13:28
  • progressive to the present, but not necessarily the future or continuous from the past Sep 12, 2022 at 14:30
  • What I'm saying is that has been isn't the present perfect progressive, because PPP is the name of a specific tense, and "has been <noun phrase>" isn't it, because there is no present participle in it.
    – stangdon
    Sep 12, 2022 at 21:43
  • "is" is reflected at the time of writing, perhaps in today's era for present tense implied. That is what I meant @stangdon progressing from the has been past. Does this suggest that the trend is continuing or has stopped or just unknown? Sep 16, 2022 at 14:49

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