I would like to know whether any of these sentences are correct:

Yesterday, I found out that all the money I had in my bank account has been stolen from me.

Yesterday, I found out that all the money I had in my bank account had been stolen from me.

Or should I just use "was" in this case? Thanks!

  • 2
    Either works. The first is reflecting the current status of the account -- cleaned out because the money has been stolen. The second is reflect a prior action on the account -- some time in the past that money was stolen. – Hot Licks Feb 13 '16 at 20:07
  • We can probably better answer your question if you can give us some more details. For example, why are you asking? What do you mean by "correct"? The sky is green is correct grammar, but whether it says what we want to say is a different question. – Jim Reynolds Feb 18 '16 at 3:50
  • It does not make sense to close every specific question involving one or more verb tenses as duplicate to a more general level question or resource. Eventually, if we extend the logic, we'd simply close almost every question with, "See a grammar of English." Specific explanations are useful for specific questions. – Jim Reynolds Feb 18 '16 at 3:54

The second sentence sounds better to me. I think it's because "had been" is the past perfect which is used to describe an event that occurred before another event in the past. The earlier event is the theft of the money, which occurred before you found out about it. If you just wanted to say that your money was stolen without reference to when you found out about it, you could use "was" or "has been."

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My writing professor told us that you want to avoid many words in writing; something these words include, but are not limited to the following: has/have, do/does/done, make/made, get/got, can, should, would, etc. Oftentimes, they are unnecessary (i.e.- "He has been there already" vs. "He previously went there," "He was already there," or "he went"). The same is said of most adverbs and the use of the "to be" verb (be/is/been/was/are/were). You ought to limit yourself to three uses of the "to be" verb per paragraph.

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  • Does this post answer the question? – user24743 Feb 14 '16 at 0:59