Please help me out with these/ is infected vs has been infected

@Alan, @Anglophile, @NearlyNapping, @Arinker

There’s very little chance the child is infected and There’s very little chance the child has been infected.

What is the exact difference between ‘is infected’ and ‘has been infected’ to me both sentences mean the same, only the tenses are different. By the way, is ‘There’s very little chance’ correctly used?



I would say that yes ‘there is very little chance’ is idiomatic and means “it’s very unlikely”.

As for the difference between ‘is infected’ and ‘has been infected’, I think the former only focuses on the result, on the fact that the child is infected now whereas the latter also talks about the process of getting infected. So, for example if you want to express surprise about the fact that child got infected you’ll probably say ‘How come the child has been infected’ or ‘How was it possible for the child to get infected’ whereas if you want to just state the fact that the child is infected you say ‘the child is infected’.

Let’s see what our native speakers have to say…


There is some difference between the two.
Grammatically, in ‘is infected’, ‘infected’ can be a participial adjective meaning that the child is in the state of being infected while in ‘has been infected’, ‘infected’ is passive perfective participle which tends to behave with the help of an external agent.
Semantically, both mean the same with the chance of infection not being very likely.
As regards the expression ‘very little chance’, I’d prefer it as a count noun though it is idiomatic, as Torsten has said.
So, 'There is a very small chance … ’ or 'There is very little likelihood … ’ or 'There are very few chances … ’ or 'There is hardly any chance … ’ would be better. .


Thank you both for professional explantion. I really appreciate it. I think I use them correctly, but once you start thinking… You know what I mean?


Just another comment - ‘is infected’ suggests that the infection is current but ‘‘has been Infected’ indicates the infection happened from some time in the past till now.


Thank you Alan for your professional explanation. I really appreciate it.

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Yes, Alan, the current state and the completed state of infection.


Is infected means they are currently infected. They currently have some sort of pathogen or disease in their system.

Has been infected may be a past tense of the above. Some time in the past, they had some sort of pathogen or disease in their system.

Both of the above refer to the state. ( adj infected child )

Has been infected may also be a verb form referring to the process of being infected rather than the state of infection.

There’s very little chance the child has been infected.

This may refer to the state or process either one. The context may give a clue. Either way, the end result is the same. You can’t have one without the other.

As a verb form, if they have been infected, they may or may not still be infected. Has been infected does not imply either one.

As a state of infection, has been infected strongly implies they are no longer infected.