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' had been' isn't passive here

In this sentence: They arrived when I wasn't around, but I had been there before.
when we use 'had been', does it mean that something had been there up to a particular moment? in this sentence, the particular moment is 'the arrival of them'.Does 'had been' always imply the same as what 'Have been' is used for? or does it just indicate that you were present at some earlier moment before that particular moment?
OR both can be correct?

I have created a diagram to show what I mean:-

enter image description here



  • you should have called me earlier, I have been at home. (present perfect)
  • They arrived when I wasn't around, but I had been there before. (past perfect)
  • Does 'had been' always imply the same as what 'Have been' is used for?
  1. Is it the same thing as the present perfect (Have been)?

enter image description here


  • They admitted that they had stolen the car. (past perfect)
  • They arrived when I wasn't around, but I had been there before. (past perfect)
  • does it just indicate that you were present at some earlier moment before that particular moment?
  1. OR 'Had been' can also function as 'had done' (both are the past perfect)?
    enter image description here

  • OR both (1) and (2) can be correct?
  • I've tried to make you understand what my doubts are, and I hope the efforts I've put into explaining my concerns have been clear.
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  • Is the question whether Past Perfect is always used for actions that would normally be expressed by Present Perfect (as opposed to Simple Past) in non-pluperfect contexts? (In which case, no - Past Perfect replaces both tenses and there's no "simple" equivalent, so a sentence like I had been there an hour ago. is perfectly correct even though, if you were talking about "regular" past, you'd use Simple Past - I was (not *have been) there an hour ago. Jan 16 at 8:10
  • @MaciejStachowski does past perfect(had been) mean somebody’s being somewhere up to the moment or it is used to show that chronological order similar to past perfect (had done)?
    – hwkal
    Jan 16 at 9:05
  • "Is Past Perfect similar to Past Perfect" - yes :) I assume you're asking about Past Perfect vs. Past Perfect Continuous, in which case yes, they're used in the same way to show chronological order. But your example with "had been" is not Past Perfect Continuous. Jan 16 at 9:15

1 Answer 1

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Had been is not the same as have been.

If you arrive in a place that is known to you, you can say "I have been here before".

Your sentence refers to a past time (when they arrived) and says that you had been there at a time before that.

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  • so it doesn’t mean that Being at home went on up to that particular past. “When they arrived i wasn’t there, But i had been there”
    – hwkal
    Jan 16 at 9:37

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