He <was> <has been> a teacher

Poet123

Member
Arabic
He ............(be )a teacher before he .............(become) a musician.

I must put present perfect or past simple
Please help me
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    We use the present perfect to refer to actions a) in the very recent past or b) which continue to have effect in the present. You must judge: is "He has wanted to be a teacher..." one of those cases?
     

    Poet123

    Member
    Arabic
    We use the present perfect to refer to actions a) in the very recent past or b) which continue to have effect in the present. You must judge: is "He has wanted to be a teacher..." one of those cases?
    Ok so can put put both in the past

    Can I say
    He was a teacher before he became a musician.

    Or
    He has been a teacher before he became a musician
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I really don't like "he has been a teacher" with "before he became a musician". It is exceptionally unusual to use the present perfect for something in the past, and in the same sentence say when in the past the thing took place. The present perfect requires the focus to be on the present. "Before he became a musician" refers to a time in the past.

    Usually, you can only use a time with the present perfect when it includes or extends up to the present: "I have walked five miles today" or "I have been working for three hours" (the three hours extends up to the present).
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Can I say
    He was a teacher before he became a musician.
    Yes
    He has been a teacher before he became a musician
    No.

    The emphasis is clearly on the idea that he was a teacher in the past (simple past tense). There is no emphasis on the present consequences of teaching (present perfect simple). And the teaching was not in a period of time that continued to the present (present perfect continuous).
     
    Top