Use of 'was' versus 'has been' (The lion has been let out of his cage)


#1

Hi there - I’ve been curious about the difference in meaning (if any) of using “was” instead of “has been” in a sentence.

For example:

“The lion has been let out of his cage”

or

“The lion was let out of his cage”

Is there any difference in meaning? Is there a proper time to use one versus the other?

Thank you.


#2

In your context either one can be used.

Yes, there is.

  1. The present perfect is used when the time period has NOT finished: I have seen three movies this week.
    (This week has not finished yet.)
    The simple past is used when the time period HAS finished: I saw three movies last week.

  2. The present perfect is often used when giving recent news: Martin has crashed his car again.
    (This is new information.)
    The simple past is used when giving older information: Martin crashed his car last year.
    (This is old information.)

  3. The present perfect is used when the time is not specific: I have seen that movie already.
    (We don’t know when.)
    The simple past is used when the time is clear: I saw that movie on Thursday.
    (We know exactly when.)

  4. The present perfect is used with for and since, when the actions have not finished yet: I have lived in Victoria for five years.
    (I still live in Victoria.)
    The simple past is used with for and since, when the actions have already finished: I lived in Victoria for five years.
    (I don’t live in Victoria now.)


#3

Thank you very much. Good explanation.