had been vs. was vs. has been

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Timo321

Member
Mandarin
this is an excerpt from a piece of news: "American officials had been hoping that Sunni Muslims would get some role in Iraq's new government. "
I know that "have been" means something started and then ended in the past, but is "was hoping" serving the same function in the context?
Or could it be replaced by "has been hoping"? how is it different? Could it mean that American officials started hoping and it continued to the time when the journalist wrote the news? What time relation is this sentence trying to express?
My textbook tells me that had done/had been is always used with a time marker that marks a time in the past, is it true?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    American officials had been hoping that Sunni Muslims would get some role in Iraq's new government.
    (This heavily implies – and in fact means – that what they had hoped for did not happen.)

    American officials were hoping that Sunni Muslims would get some role in Iraq's new government.
    (This implies that, at the time in question, they were still hoping that.)

    American officials have been hoping that Sunni Muslims would will get some role in Iraq's new government.
    (This needs would to also be changed to the present tense, and it implies an ongoing current situation.)
     
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