Great Expectations [is written vs has been written] by Charles Dickens

58

8

I had a grammar quiz at the university today.

One of the questions was:

"Great Expectations" ____ by Charles Dickens.

a) is written
b) has been written
c) was written

Undoubtedly, the c option isn't correct since the time (the publication date) isn't stated or implied.

I crossed the a option out because it is neither a general truth nor a law. It is not a well-known fact to use present simple here.

Finally, I have chosen b. I still have doubts if a is the only right option.

It is unclear to me. Could you clarify it?
Any help would be appreciated.

Andrew Tobilko

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 3 854

25I'm upvoting this question. Although the logic you've applied is faulty, you've at least provided enough detailed information that we can follow your line of thinking and provide an intelligent answer. It's no wonder this question has already attracted several good answers, while similar questions furnished with much less background information sit downvoted and unanswered. – J.R. – 2018-05-23T16:53:41.967

6I think the problem here may be that you are trying to follow some gramatical rules that either don't apply here, or which native English speakers don't actually use :-) – jamesqf – 2018-05-23T17:35:42.480

1"Undoubtedly, the c option isn't correct since the time isn't stated or implied." What time? – Acccumulation – 2018-05-24T20:20:07.547

1@Andrew I won't interrupt the excellent answers below that cover the correct answers but just to address your reasoning: the publication date doesn't need to be stated; a book's existence in published form means an act of writing has been completed. Any work of history or fiction can take the present tense because it is new to each reader & al. (the plot has become a "general truth", if you need to think of it that way) but that's usually with reference to the actions described within, not the work itself. 'Has been written' implies sth's incomplete, e.g. publication has not occurred. – lly – 2018-05-28T04:43:30.447

1B is the letter's name, without 'the', unless you're using it as an attributive: the B answer, the B team, &c. – lly – 2018-05-28T04:45:06.530

Answers

61

Actually, depending on context, all three answers are potentially valid. So this is another of those "Guess which answer the teacher is thinking is correct" questions rather than a "Guess the answer that is correct" question. If you have not been told who Charles Dickens is and when he wrote "Great Expectations", then your knowledge of English literature is fairly important to getting it right.

Since the novel was written in 1860 and Dickens is dead, logic suggests that the teacher expects you to use the past tense (as is most common), to talk about a past event:

"Great Expectations" was written by Charles Dickens (in 1860).

Otherwise, if it is a new novel and Dickens is still alive, it's not uncommon for English speakers to use the present tense to talk about its creation, especially if the author is present. For example, imagine a radio show on which they discuss contemporary literature

Hello and welcome to our show Literature and You. Today we review a particularly interesting new work, "Great Expectations", which is written by renowned author Charles Dickens, and who is today's guest on our show. Welcome Mr. Dickens!

To complicate this, English speakers sometimes use the present tense to focus on the current existence of the novel itself, rather than the action of the writer. In this case "written by Charles Dickens" can be interpreted as a participle phrase:

"Great Expectations", the classic novel, is often included in grade school required reading lists. It is written by Charles Dickens.

While this is not common it should not be discounted, since this is how English speakers actually talk, not how they should talk.

Lastly, suppose this sentence is part of a kind of stream-of-consciousness historical narrative:

The year is 1859. Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" is causing a furor in the halls of Cambridge. "Great Expectations" has been written by Charles Dickens (but not yet published), etc.

Again, this is not common, but you should be aware that it's possible in the right context.

In any case, it's a poorly-written question -- but that's not unusual in many English classes, even when the teacher is a native speaker. Yes, (c) is the obvious answer, but a good test question should have one and only one possible answer.

Andrew

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 85 521

21

Yet another possible valid use of present tense would be if Dickens were someone alive and well and "Great Expectations" was the name of his blog: "Great Expectations" is written by Charles Dickens (which is not unlike: The Goosebumps series is written by R.L. Stein).

– J.R. – 2018-05-23T16:58:56.283

12Past tense for completed books or book sets. It is possible to say that "the Harry Potter books are written by J K Rowling" if you consider it likely that she will write another. Otherwise, they "were" written by her. Death tends to prevent new works. – Nigel Touch – 2018-05-23T19:01:29.390

22I disagree that knowledge of a timeline (or the status of its author) is required: any book that is complete was written by its author. – BradC – 2018-05-23T20:14:36.867

12Similar to BradC's comment, I disagree that this is a test of English literature. If I asked the same question about The Porcupine Sleeps by William J. Clinton, it has to be assumed from the question that the book exists and therefore was written, even if (as in this case) the book does not actually exist. The only exception would be a work-in-progress, such as My Cabinet Was a Great Cabinet is being written by Justin Trudeau. – H O – 2018-05-23T20:19:10.167

4@HO Sure, but that's far from the only possible context for the sentence. When a novel is newly released it is not uncommon to hear people use the present tense to talk about its creation, especially if that person is present. E.g. "Hello and welcome to our show Literature and You. *Today we review a particularly interesting new work, 'Go the **** to Sleep', which is written and narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, and who is today's guest on our show. Welcome Mr. Jackson."* – Andrew – 2018-05-23T21:57:51.087

1@HO The point of this answer is that, if you have to guess what's going on on the teacher's head in order to get the question right, it helps to know that Dickens is now deceased. But let me rephrase my first paragraph to make this more clear – Andrew – 2018-05-23T21:58:24.310

1

@NigelTouch death tends to prevent new works: don't tell Jimi Hendrix

– mcalex – 2018-05-24T06:19:10.760

1You can in some cases just use "written": Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens... Some other options not covered would be authored by in place of written in any of the examples, or a different sentence structure: _The author of "Great Expectations", Charles Dickins ... – Baldrickk – 2018-05-24T09:43:46.483

3Given only the sentence in the question, the only correct answer is 'c'. There are similar sentences (including the examples that you have given) that could be answered by 'a' or 'b' and where 'c' would be incorrect. The question is not about similar sentences. – user5505 – 2018-05-24T11:55:07.230

2Adding weight to the first comment. We have no indication that this is referring to a book at all. The title being in quotation marks means it is NOT a book (whose title should be underlined), but is instead one of the many other types of works, including newspapers and magazines, that are correctly written in quotation marks. – TREE – 2018-05-24T13:13:27.220

3@TREE There is no single right way to format book titles; it's a matter of personal preference or house style. For example, Chicago Manual of Style uses italics for book titles whereas Associated Press uses quotation marks. Underlining, however, is very rarely used for this purpose nowadays (it is essentially a relic of the typewriter age). – Especially Lime – 2018-05-24T15:24:35.627

3Your use of is written in the examples you give sounds weird - in both cases, I would use was written. I would say that is + past-participle should be used only for continuous action; A pointy-hat is worn by a policeman. A book is not continuously undergoing writing; it is finished so was written. You could use is written for a newspaper column or a blog; The Dickens Blog is written by Fred Bloggs , for example. – Oscar Bravo – 2018-05-25T05:47:58.303

2@J.R. Highly relevant since Great Expectations was indeed published in editions between December 1860 and August 1861. – Chris Petheram – 2018-05-25T15:17:36.073

So you'd say that even in the third type of context where Great Expectations is written, (some work lost in the Alexandria library fire) was written by (some author)? – Hagen von Eitzen – 2018-05-26T11:53:48.390

2@HagenvonEitzen It really depends on the context, particularly whose perspective we're writing from. As I said, most of the time you would say was written, but it's incorrect to assert that's always and exclusively what you would say. – Andrew – 2018-05-26T14:26:18.293

To extend the answer, use of present tense is not as well defined as you'd like. For example: "George Washington is the first US President". Present tense is correct here, because the fact itself is correct today. This is regardless of him being alive, or his term having ended. If you say "GW was the first US president", this appears similarly correct, but to a pedantic observer could seem to imply that this fact was believed to be correct but is no longer considered correct. (Note that if you omit "first", this no longer applies and past tense is the only correct option). – Flater – 2018-05-28T10:41:07.723

[...] The key thing here is that the tense ambiguously refers to either the act of writing or the fact of having written the book. The act is completed and past; but the fact remains correct today. This is complicated by using passive tense here. While correct, it muddies the water in regards to the focust (act or fact). The active tense is clearer on this: Charles Dickens wrote / has written Great Expectations (present tense is obviously incorrect). – Flater – 2018-05-28T10:44:05.280

62

The one answer you've discarded is the correct answer.

The book was written many years ago - in 1861, to be precise. Perhaps the question expects you to know this information but it's definitely a past event, so the correct answer is "c":

"Great Expectations" was written by Charles Dickens.

That's an event that happened in the past and is not continuing any more. The book is finished, the author is deceased.

I suppose someone could argue that "is written" would be correct but that's not going to be a common choice for most native speakers.

"Has been written" is the least correct option. The book is not still being written. It's completed and done, so it's inappropriate to use what seems to be a passive perfect form.

Catija

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 25 211

6Actually, it doesn't matter how long ago the event was or the fact that the book is finished. Consider Britain has been invaded many times, for example. The problem is solely that Charles Dickens is dead! – Araucaria - Not here any more. – 2018-05-23T16:09:32.233

6That's a completely different instance, though... You're not going to write a single book again and again... Once the book is finished, you'll never say "has been written"... heck, I doubt you'd ever say it about a single book. If you're talking about a series... The Wheel of Time" books have been written by Robert Jordan over the last 23 years is great... but you have to have a time frame for it to really make sense. Without "over the last 23 years", it doesn't work for me. – Catija – 2018-05-23T16:12:55.597

1"Has been written" isn't continuous, but perfect in the passive voice, isn't it? – Muzer – 2018-05-23T17:08:01.990

9“Has been written” to me implies that the entity “Great Expectations” is a constant and has been completed several times by (possibly) more than one person. – Fogmeister – 2018-05-23T18:15:57.240

@Catija, the context doesn't show the exact time, the reader may or may not know about the publication date. I was taught that this detail is important and determines a past tense. That's why I discarded the right option. – Andrew Tobilko – 2018-05-23T19:47:44.613

5@Andrew Once a book is completed, it was written. The only exception I can really think of is something like "The book has been written and is waiting for publication". But any book that's out there was written. All that said, if your teacher didn't tell you any information about the book, you might have cause to say "this question should be ignored in scoring because it assumes knowledge you didn't give us". – Catija – 2018-05-23T19:49:21.767

1@Catija This book is written by "yours truly". Is this correct whether a draft or published (in print)? – learner – 2018-05-23T20:12:30.277

1@learner Either "is written" or "was written" are options though I think "was" would be preferable for the same reasons I explain in my answer (or Andrew does in his)... – Catija – 2018-05-23T20:14:41.030

1I agree with this answer, but disagree that it has anything to do with the timeline or whether the author is still alive. Any book (that is complete) was written by its author (living or dead). – BradC – 2018-05-23T20:16:56.510

1@BradC How do you explain the sentence, "Many books are written on this subject." – learner – 2018-05-23T20:26:01.560

1@BradC I didn't say that it did. I added that information as information about the book and the author but I specifically even commented to say that "once a book is completed, it was written". The answer says "That's an event that happened in the past". There's no (intended) correlation between the author's death and the past tense. – Catija – 2018-05-23T20:33:20.847

2@learner Sounds like an ongoing process, like the old Oscar Wilde quote: "In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody." – BradC – 2018-05-23T20:33:39.013

1@BradC The quote compares two time frames, so, to me, it makes sense to use the past for the past and present for the present. Some thing happened in the past and probably will keep going would be "Many books have been written on this subject". – learner – 2018-05-23T20:56:52.383

2@BradC If you look up Google with this search phrase "book is written" site:edu, you'll get many results that validate the use of "book is written", all of which from American educational institutions according to information that edu is reserved for American educational institutions. – learner – 2018-05-23T21:12:28.493

@Muzer, as far as I know, the perfect continuous tenses aren't used in the passive – Andrew Tobilko – 2018-05-24T08:45:59.520

1@Catija agreed - you might use "is written" for an incomplete work - such as an ongoing TV series – Baldrickk – 2018-05-24T09:45:31.863

"It's completed and done, so it's inappropriate to use what seems to be a passive perfect form." - That's exactly what the perfect forms are for though: to signify that the action has been completed. It's even literally what the term means (Latin "perfectum", meaning "completed"). The reason why "has been written" is wrong here is simply because the focus isn't on the completed work, but on the act of writing it. Your comment: "Once the book is finished, you'll never say "has been written"..." -- Counterexample: "I'm not going to write a story about [summary]: [name] has been written already." – hvd – 2018-05-25T10:41:44.980

"I think there's a need for a story about an orphan growing up in London. I grant you, 'Great Expectations' has been written by Charles Dickens, but I think that doesn't fit the bill." – Michael Kay – 2018-05-25T21:26:21.630

@Araucaria The fact that Dickens is dead has nothing to do with the choice of verb tense here. One would certainly say "Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone was written by J K Rowling". What matters is that the action of writing is complete. – Dawood ibn Kareem – 2018-05-25T22:09:44.600

@dawood Let me understand what you're trying to say. Is your comment meant to say that it should be past simple, as opposed to present perfect because the action described is complete? – Araucaria - Not here any more. – 2018-05-26T02:58:04.327

18

Choice A - "is written" - implies that this is continuing or recurrent activity. "Examinations are written in room 408", e.g. - this happens periodically. Some people might use this in the example you gave but it would be more correct to say "XXX is a book by Charles Dickens".

Choice B - "has been written" - implies that this was continuing or recurrent, but no longer is. "Exams have been written in room 408" tells us that exams used to be written there, but no longer are. This flavour doesn't really fit your example, though, because a book is generally viewed as a cohesive whole. Another flavour of this, with a different meaning, is that exams have been written there at some point but aren't at this particular point in time, but this flavour doesn't really fit the example sentences you gave.

Choice C is the correct one, one that I as a native English speaker would use describing what you've given me. "Exams were written in room 408" tells me that exams were written there, but no longer are, and this is likely to be semi-permanent. In the case of the Dickens book, of course, the situation is fully permament.

Jim MacKenzie

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 1 906

1I'd argue (in BrE, at least) that exams are mostly taken, not written (except by the person who created the exam in the first place). – Steve Melnikoff – 2018-05-25T13:52:33.073

@SteveMelnikoff Same in AmE. That one struck me as odd. – Brian McCutchon – 2018-05-27T07:02:26.633

15

The present perfect in English (and in some other languages) is strange for a number of reasons. One of these is very famous. It is called the lifetime effect. All this means is that we don't normally use the present perfect to talk about dead people, or things that don't exist any more:

  • *Einstein has discovered relativity (ungrammatical/odd)

For this reason, amongst others, answer (b) is incorrect. The most idiomatic answer is answer (c).

Araucaria - Not here any more.

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 25 536

3+1 for the lifetime effect term. – learner – 2018-05-23T17:31:20.153

3But "Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare. Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace, and lay them prone upon the earth, and cease.." etc. I mean there are exceptions. English is complex.. – CowperKettle – 2018-05-23T17:52:49.983

8@CowperKettle Not really - the poetic conceit there is that Euclid is still alive (in the form of his work), and this tense is to indicate that. It isn't an exception, because it's intentionally making that use of the grammar. – Graham – 2018-05-23T19:32:09.513

3@CowperKettle Euclid is considered a member of the group of (dead and alive) people (scientists, scholars, artists, etc.) who have been examining something since ever. Does that explain it correctly? – learner – 2018-05-23T20:03:15.217

2I don't think this is the reason, since "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows _____ by J K Rowling" would have the same answer. In fact, I don't think the lifetime effect is even relevant because here the subject (Great Expectations) still exists. – Especially Lime – 2018-05-24T15:11:37.347

1@EspeciallyLime I think there's several reasons why (b) would be incorrect!! I agree with you, actually, that the Rowling sentence would be better in the simple too. However, the two other reasons why -1. the writing event is a definite as opposed to indefinite entity, 2. the writing event is placeable on JKR's timeline- are difficult to explain clearly. I chose to mention the lifetime effects because that's generative - it is easily applied by learners to other situations. Lifetime effects, incidentally, are not necessarily confined to subjects. Anyhow, I agree there are other reasons too! – Araucaria - Not here any more. – 2018-05-24T15:21:36.180

@CowperKettle the verb tense in "Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare" isn't really related to the lifetime effect. The reason is that although Euclid is looking decidedly non-Euclidean, there are plenty of other people who could have looked on Beauty, but didn't; and some of those other people may look on Beauty at some point in the future. Feel free to look upon it yourself. Therefore, the death of Euclid didn't end the opportunity for beauty-looking, and the present perfect is appropriate. – Dawood ibn Kareem – 2018-05-26T01:25:12.393

3

Examples of this type of answer:

  • The book is by the author [present]
  • The book was written by the author [past]
  • The author wrote the book [past]
  • The author's book [present, possessive]

For the test question, using past tense is the apparently correct answer. But as others have written above, more than one verb tense can be used by native speakers to describe authorship of a work such as a book.

user8356

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 908

Possessive form having nothing to do with whether the author is alive -- agreed. Fixed the incorrect past perfect. – user8356 – 2018-05-25T14:54:14.867

3

King Henry VIII married six times. He was divorced twice, and he had two wives beheaded.

We don't say "has married" "has been divorced" or "has beheaded two wives" because it is common/general knowledge that the English monarch is not alive today. We "know" he is dead. Knowing or stating the date or year of his death is irrelevant.

Answers a) “is written” and b) “has been written” are acceptable if we didn't know that Charles Dickens was dead, or if the British author was "alive" in a story (fiction/novel/narrative) written about him.

If there had been a fourth option, d) “is”, then both c) and d) would be correct.

Great Expectations was written by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations is by Charles Dickens

Mari-Lou A

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 19 962

2

It depends on what aspect you are referring to.

"was written" : This would be focussing on the event of writing. You use the past tense as (of course) the writing happened in the past. Here, Mr Dickens is the most important thing.

"is written" : Here, you are focussing on the book, which is implied to be well-known. Having been written by Mr Dickens is an aspect of that, and the author has not changed; so the book is still written by him. Here, the book is the most important thing.

"has been written" : This implies that there are multiple versions which may be written by other people, and so is wrong in this case. However, if we were instead talking about "the annual report" then you could used "has been written" since there are presumably several of these and they may be subsequently revised.

So, in summary, a bad question to pose, as both (a) and (c) can be argued as correct, depending on how you want to emphasise the point.

Steve Shipway

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 164

1

Great Expectations, the original work of art, is the singular context in this sentence (given its very brief and simple and only mentions the work of art and who the author was). This brevity and lack of context cancels out any present tense logic, such as those that infer the author's still today in the creation process, or the author continues writing his novel in present times, etc.

The sentence is referring to a classic masterpiece and you the reader are to understand this, otherwise there's no information to actually analyze. If you had no idea who the guy was, this sentence can go either way or becomes very meaningless. It wouldn't matter who or when was writing what, because there's no way of knowing without the contexual clues of the author being very old and the setence variations having to do with present/past tenses, like those of 'Great Expectations' and some old dude that surely died long ago, right?

The simplicity also implies that the statement is in regards to something of great distinction, which helps alleviate arguments that the statement "could" be talking about some other rendition of the original, such as a play, movie, etc.

Great Expectations, a book written and published 150+ years ago and assumed completed by most humanity, was written by an author. There's no way around it, I don't care what type of English jazz argument you come up with.

Unless of course the author was able to transcend aging effects and live until after their work of art becomes heralded as a timeless classic, or at least something most everyone would be familiar with the title when given a short descriptive sentence and nothing else. Then the author could sell tv rights to HBO for a mini-series in which they planned to finish out their masterpiece via a tv-show. THEN you could say it 'is written by'. The second choice option 'has been written by' does nothing but crap on the original author, implying that it's a shared piece of work that's continually being crowdsourced and altered over time. "This famous masterpiece has been written by Jimmy, Sally, Nancy, Tommy from kindergarden, oh and that Charles Dick guy, too!"/s

tldr; it was wrtten, unless the author comes back from the dead and signs a TV series to extend the original work of art, thus declaring the original as incomplete. No living author would have such a popular piece of work that it could be common-knowledge enough to even pose the situation of this question and analysis.

Hunter Frazier

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 111

0

We do not know if the statement is bound by time / event. Meaning, somebody may prove it was not written by the author by now, which is less likely but is possible going by the structure of the sentence. So it is to be mentioned in simple tense and not in perfect. Whether it is in present-simple or past-simple is a difficult thing to say but present-simple is much better as it also addresses inherent ambiguity.

So the answer is, "is written by". But if you want to mention in a context where philosophy is given more preference than pragmatism, then "was written by" can be used.

sudhakar

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 11

-1

It's a good question that points up to some not so well‐known issues of learning grammar. The question poised by the OP is that h/she must choose a right grammatically answer specifying the precise grammatical manner of the sentence about Charles Dickens from the available three options.

After some short personal reviewing the experienced substantive discussion having been held here, we might be able to come to a seemingly surprising conclusion that there is no definite general opinion on a probable answer.

I would like to draw attention to a specific problem of this and similar discussions, which could help individuals studying English to navigate in the learning tasks having some similar content.

It is a socialy respectable fact that Charles John Huffam Dickens ( 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He is regarded by many as the greatest British novelist of the Victorian era.

That is why lots of opinions about his person and literary texts have spread round within the British culture and cultures worlwide. To say this in the other way, there have been created many contexts which contain the opinions concerning him and his works. There is such an assertion of the English language linguistics that the syntax and lexical meaning often depends on the context in which they are used in. The assertion holds in the case.

To assess how a possible syntax should be looked like, we ought to have come to a reasonable opinion on the kind of a context used for the options in the task firstly.

In case of commentaries on the manner of the text, we should use the Present Indefinite Passive Great Expectations is written in the English language. Pls, check it out on the Google Ngram Viewer with the verb phrase is written.

In case of commentaries on the result of the writer's literary work we should use the Present Perfect Passive It is a great novel because Great Expectations has been written by Charles Dickens, or Great Expectations has been written by Charles Dickens.

In case of commentaries on the time-period of the writer's works, or the results of his personal work we should use the Past Indefinite Passive It was the Victorian era in the UK when Great Expectations was written by Charles Dickens.

So, the most probable answer to the task is Great Expectations has been written with the meaning Great Expectations is the result of Charles Dickens' work.

You can verify it with https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/entertainment/books/1988/01/24/so-you-want-to-be-a-writer/322e60a5-0163-4baf-9614-d776d4e93125/

A debate arose over whether the statements of people who lived in the past is possible in the sentences with the Present Perfect tense. Honestly, the question is somewhat unexpected. Of course, this is possible, and it's the regular English. What can be confirmed with numerous examples from the modern literature, for example here is the two of many more:

  1. As George Bernard Shaw has said, common sense alone should prevent our thinking...

https://books.google.ru/books?id=_YjooNYRMQQC&pg=PR27&lpg=PR27&dq=%22Bernard+Shaw+has+said%22&source=bl&ots=f-hOdwvJp6&sig=ACfU3U22Qhiubub54jtD3SOY56RukW9hXA&hl=ru&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiE68fi5Y7qAhXJlIsKHQRuDp4Q6AEwCXoECAYQAQ

  1. George Bernard Shaw has said it splendidly that, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.

https://books.google.ru/books?id=dSf6AAAAQBAJ&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=%22Bernard+Shaw+has+said%22&source=bl&ots=al5sgSmbU3&sig=ACfU3U1mCtjmeIeMHPunUzvSKqMmeiyJlA&hl=ru&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiE68fi5Y7qAhXJlIsKHQRuDp4Q6AEwB3oECAkQAQ

The second question raised in the dispute was no less surprising. Is a grammatical construction of the type because it has been written possible in the subordinate clause of the reason? The answer is the same, of course, it is possible in the ordinary English. The proof is simpler than in the first case:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=because+it+has+been+written&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cbecause%20it%20has%20been%20written%3B%2Cc0

kngram

Posted 2018-05-23T14:48:11.393

Reputation: 517

I would consider t your suggested answer to be incorrect, from an English language point of view . *It is a great novel because Great Expectations has been written by Charles Dickens*: The novel was finished in the past, and we know that the author is no longer alive, hence the simple past was should be used in that example. – Mari-Lou A – 2020-06-19T19:16:49.230

I have met your opininon before. I know your way of arguing. Could you confirm your opinion with any established source? I can read this construction in the press every other day. Sorry that the Washington post reading is for cash, but it offers various way of subscription. – kngram – 2020-06-19T19:48:23.540

) I don't need any retraction at all. Sorry, I have proved everything. The both constructions is written and was written are ungrammatical in such context. I don't know why every site with the construction has been written that I have checked is virus-infected according to my antivirus soft. I've checked out several and everything has been the same. – kngram – 2020-06-19T20:03:58.777

So you refuse to copy the relevant excerpt from WP? Where is your supporting evidence? Where is the proof? You expressing your conviction, but I see no proof. On ELL there is a canonical post about PP, I think it is an excellent treatise.

– Mari-Lou A – 2020-06-19T20:09:24.130

) Why have you deleted your arguments after I wrote that every site with has been written pattern that I had checked out was virus-infected? – kngram – 2020-06-19T20:15:36.763

Sorry, my mistake. – kngram – 2020-06-19T20:20:23.863

I've read the text you suggested. Sorry nothing new. And there is no confirmation of your claim in it. I don't know, maybe I didn't notice. – kngram – 2020-06-19T20:22:14.330

From the linked posts the following examples: 1. *At the time his first play was produced, Shaw had already established a substantial literary reputation.* 2. *Shaw (had) established a substantial literary reputation before his first play* was produced .... Shaw, an English author, died in 1950, note the Present Perfect is not used BUT the Past Perfect or Simple Past, which is in the main clause. – Mari-Lou A – 2020-06-19T20:32:40.497

I am impressed. Do you understand that there is no other context than that which was established syntactically? Sorry, I speak about grammar jokingly. I am in funny mood a little today. Your examples are irrevlevant in realtion to the task discussed. You both examples are about the adverbials of time. The task is about usage of the pattern in the MAIN CLAUSE. – kngram – 2020-06-19T20:49:05.977

I have. But, you haven't any concerning your major claim and additional as well. – kngram – 2020-06-19T20:53:00.987

As Wendell Berry has said Poetry can be written because it has been written. – kngram – 2020-06-19T21:01:41.223

"Shaw once said" No one is disputing that the construction with "has written" is not possible. – Mari-Lou A – 2020-06-20T00:06:40.137

See pages 2-3 for examples with the past simple passive a) Agatha Christie wrote this book. b) This book was written by Agatha Christie. If the author was alive or still writing novels then the PP would be used e.g. Stephen King has written over 200 short stories. I hope this helps. P.S I have deleted a few comments because the thread was getting too long.

– Mari-Lou A – 2020-06-20T00:26:10.110

Wow! This trick is sometimes said by some high school teachers to help students remember the rules for using the Present Perfect Tense for past events. This is not a rule of grammar; it is a practical trick for remembering the use of grammatical constructions at school. Or, to put it simply, an unsupported judgmental opinion. And if you enter into such argument, please read at least what has been written by the interlocutor. And stop putting out large texts for beginners in this kind of debate; they do not contain anything you are trying to prove at all. – kngram – 2020-06-20T08:15:45.170