Please help me in below conversation.

One of my friends returns to his office from long sick leaves. I want to ask him whether or not he had been hospitalized.

Me: Hi How you feeling now?
Friend (Patient): I am fine now.
Me: Had you been to admitted in hospital or not? Or Were you admitted in hospital or not?
Friend (Patient): Yes i was in hospital for 10 days.

What should I use -had you been or were you or anything else??

  • 1
    One small thing to clarify, which QOI covered but without really expressing, is that you 'go to hospital' When you get there, if they want to 'keep you in' then they 'admit you to hospital' Once there & admitted, you are 'in hospital'. Dec 17, 2014 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Had you been is incorrect here. It's the past perfect and it's used when you're talking about something in the past and you want to make reference to something that happened even before. E.g. He told me he had been admitted to hospital.

But you could choose between were or have been, depending on the situation.

If your friend is fine now, you should use were you admitted to hospital or not?, because it's something that if it happened, it has already ended. This is the past tense.

if your friend is still ill and you want to know if he's in hospital or in bed at home, you should ask have you been admitted to hospital or not?, because in case he is in hospital, he would still be there; the action has not ended yet. This tense is the present perfect.

  • Thanks for answer but i this Had you been is correct hear. I want to refer past of past. He had been admited in Hospital. recuparated . and came to office. If i use were admited it just mean that i am only asking about his past hospitalisation status.
    – user4084
    Dec 18, 2014 at 4:31
  • I think you are not understanding the use of the past perfect correcly. If you want to talk about something in the past, you use the past tense (were admitted). If you are already talking in a past tense and you want to talk about something further in the past, you use the past perfect (had been admitted). In the example you provide, you are talking in present (e.g. ‘How [are] you feeling now?’, ‘I am fine now’), so you can't use the past perfect direcly.
    – QOI
    Dec 18, 2014 at 7:28
  • Thats what, I want to asked him about past of his past. fist past he was fine and recuparating at home about this i was aware. but i was not sure whether he had been admited to hospital before that or not.
    – user4084
    Dec 18, 2014 at 9:53
  • Then you have to use the simple past (were you admitted to hospital?). You can't use the past perfect if you're not already talking in a past tense, which you weren't doing.
    – QOI
    Dec 18, 2014 at 10:01
  • Also,can we ask questions as like "Had you been........?" Give me some other examples.
    – user4084
    Dec 18, 2014 at 10:11

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