"to have been responsible for" vs. "to be responsible for"

HyeeWang

Senior Member
Chinese
The Russian State Duma declares Joseph Stalin and other officials of the Soviet Union to have been responsible for the 1940 Katyn massacre.

Hi. What is the difference between "to have been responsible for" and "to be responsible for"? Why not use "to be responsible for" here? thanks!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Both Stalin and the massacre are in the past, so we wouldn't normally use the present tense. With a simpler sentence structure, you would have this:

    Joseph Stalin and other officials of the Soviet Union were responsible for the 1940 Katyn massacre. (Past tense.)
     
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