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Topic:  Some help with English pretty please :)
Aeos
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  Some help with English pretty please :)
August 31, 2013 11:05:47 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
My friend and I are are not native speakers of English. In our language, has, have and had, has one form.

We understand that has is possessive, but what happens when it becomes a past possessive?

Doing our thesis, which requires an actual understanding English grammar much to our horror.
Could someone please correct the sentence at the bottom, we've bin arguing about it for a good hour now -_-.
Quote:The Apartheid era segregation had been a problem where the city of Cape Town has been divided into segments of different wealth, racial, and cultural groups.

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[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited August 31, 2013 11:07:15 AM)]
Serpent
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  RE: Some help with English pretty please :)
August 31, 2013 11:19:16 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
'had been' is a state that lasted until a certain point in the past.  So 'he had been well until last tuesday, when he fell ill'.

And 'has been' is a state that began in the past and has lasted until now (with the expectation that it will go on into the future).  So 'he has been with the VE for 2 years'.

('had', obviously, is simply past.)

Your sentence uses both 'had been' and 'has been'.
Quote:segregation had been a problem

Are you saying that segregation was a problem and is no longer?  If so then that's fine.  If not, and it is still an issue, perhaps 'segregation has been a problem' would be better there.
Quote:Cape Town has been divided

Again, is it still divided?  If so then this is fine.  If not then 'had been divided' might be better.

I hope this helps!  (I'm a professional English teacher, so I hope I've been clear!  If not feel free to question me further!)

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Aeos
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  RE: Some help with English pretty please :)
August 31, 2013 12:34:10 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
Wow, that explained everything! XD

Looking at the grammar rules explained it only partially, but we couldn't understand it contextually.

Totally makes sense. Thank you!

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Serpent
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  RE: Some help with English pretty please :)
August 31, 2013 10:51:09 PM    View the profile of Serpent 
No problem, Aeos, glad to be of service!

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