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Has been/ has-been

Dear Dr English

What is the difference between "has been" and "has-been"?

Thanks for your explanation.


"Has been" is a present-perfect form of the verb to be; when someone has been to a place they went there and are already back; so they are no longer in that place.

Drake has been to India twice.

Julia and Melinda have been to the cinema.

And from this meaning, "has-been" is changed into a noun by using a hyphen meaning a person who was successful in the past but now is regarded as unimportant and no longer respected.

Masters of Ceremony at the fair are presenter has-beens with whom the present audience are not excited anymore.

Winning the grand prize after a ten-year slump, means Sammy is no longer a car-racing has-been.


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