are/have been surprised

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Senior Member
German / Switzerland

The following quote is from the Spotlight magazine (June 2011) and the original text reads are surprised. The present simple passive makes sense to me (present simple for facts), but I'd like to know whether a present perfect passive (have been surprised) would also be possible.

New figures from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) show that the number of people who have donated organs to strangers has risen from 23 to 40 in the past year. The Guardian reports that the numbers are small compared to the 7,000 people with chronic kidney failure, but that experts are surprised/have been surprised by the increase.

  • Thelb4

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think the two have different meanings.

    "The Guardian reports that experts are surprised" would correlate with the present tense "the numbers are small". The experts are presently surprised.

    "have been surprised" would be used in a different context, for example: "Experts have been surprised in the past, but now they are not."
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