It kinda confuses me; so I wanted it to be cleared out for me: Is it

  • the final exams have started
  • the final exams have been started or
  • the final exams are started

Which one is the correct form and what are the differences? ok. I am having exams at the moment and I have only had one exam so far. I just want to tell this friend that the exams have started. that's it. I'm just not sure if it's correct or not

  • Hello and welcome! You should add a bit about your own research and thoughts. We will be happy to help, but we will not do the work for you. You might want to have a look at his: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/439/please-everyone-details-please. One hint on an answer: context is crucial and 3. is plain wrong due to singular/plural mismatch.
    – Stephie
    Jan 14, 2015 at 20:12
  • hello.thanks for editing the question. it looks way better .haha ;-)
    – john
    Jan 14, 2015 at 20:13
  • I just changed "is" to "are" :)
    – john
    Jan 14, 2015 at 20:23
  • John you forgot about the question title!
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 14, 2015 at 20:26
  • We would need to understand what you are trying to say before we can tell you which one is the correct form. What are your thoughts about the differences between the tenses? If we understand what you're thinking we can give you a better answer.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 14, 2015 at 20:53

2 Answers 2


Normally, you would say this:

Final exams have started. (or begun)

"Final exams" doesn't need an article here since you're talking about final exams in general. You would only say "the final exams" if you wanted to talk about a specific group of exams.

The final exams have been started.

This means that someone or something caused the final exams to start. This is unusual. In English, final exams are an event, not a process or machine.

The final exams are started.

A native speaker would probably understand this, but it's bad grammar. You could say "Final exams are starting", but that doesn't mean the same thing.

  • 3
    I'll add that "The final exams have been started" has a form of the verb "to be" in it, which is what makes it passive tense. That's why it means that someone or something caused them to start.
    – levininja
    Jan 15, 2015 at 15:43

All statements of your are right.

  1. Final exams have started (its intransitive use of verb "to start"
  2. Final exams have been started(its like.....started in the past and still going on. here "started" is an adjective.) This sentence works as passive sentence also.however, for that it requires some context.
  3. Final exam is started (its present fact.here" started" works as adjective again)

So you can say it anyway.....as you wish.

  • It simply isn't idiomatic to say "is started" in a case like this if the sentence ends there. We would only really use that with a prepositional phrase afterwards, like "with great fanfare" or "by starting pistol" (which would be weird, but whatever). This is because the use of the simple present here would basically only be used for making a general statement, not to talk about a present fact.
    – SamBC
    Mar 19, 2019 at 13:51
  • Mem,then what about I am tired.(its present fect)here tired acts as adjective.....same way exam is started. Apr 3, 2019 at 15:07
  • We don't use started as an adjective anywhere near as much as we do tired. If you see started, and it could be an adjective or a verb, it's almost always a verb. That may be dialect dependent, though. In British English, and I think most American English, started is generally a verb.
    – SamBC
    Apr 3, 2019 at 15:15
  • Men one more question....supposing I am trying to start the computer but its not started/its not starting then what do I say....? The computer is not starting/ computer is not getting(being)started...pls guide me.... Apr 3, 2019 at 15:34

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