A few years ago... gas emissions WERE / HAVE BEEN?

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Senior Member
I'm not too sure about the following sentence:

A few years ago, gas emissions WERE stricly regulated.
A few years ago, gas emissions HAVE BEEN stricly regulated.

Could you please tell me which one is correct?

  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    "Were strictly regulated". You are giving the time of the action: "a few years ago". Therefore the simple past is required.

    However, this sentence strikes me as a bit odd. (I don't know where it comes from.) It suggests that although a few years ago gas emissions were strictly regulated, they are not regulated now. Are they still regulated? If so, a better way to put the sentence would be, "A few years ago strict regulations on gas emissions were put in place."
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