There Have Been or There Has Been? Which Is Correct?

The phrases “there have been” and “there has been” are correct. The difference is in verb conjugation to show numerical agreement. This means “there have been” suggests plural whereas “there has been” indicates the singular.

These phrases are the same: it references a past circumstance that continues into the present. They can confirm, check or deny the veracity of something. Also, these come in three grammatical forms: interrogative, negative, and affirmative. “Been” in these contexts relates to the verb “to be” but as a past participle.

Past Participles

For clarity of understanding “there have/has been,” it’s first important to know what a past participle is. In general, these are past verbs with the action finished and initiated in the past. They often accompany an auxiliary verb to help illustrate the action not only happened in the past but also continues presently.


The use of “there have been” or “there has been” is often suggestive of a question in plural or singular forms. This means they appear at the start of an inquiry, but the arrangement of the words is slightly different. Consider the following examples:

Plural: Have there been many burglaries in the area?
Singular: Has there been an instance of crime?


Affirmative forms of “there have/has been” indicates a positive statement based on truth, fact, proof, or evidence.

Plural: There have been many reports showing how medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death.
Singular: There has been a report demonstrating how the third leading cause of death is medical malpractice.


There has/have been” can also indicate the opposite of the affirmative; disproving or negating a statement as untrue or false. This is also known as the negative form. But this will include the word “not.”

Plural: There have not been many instances of crime in the area recently.
Singular: There has not been a report demonstrating that medical malpractice is the leading cause of death.


Both the phrases “there have been” and “there has been” are perfectly acceptable and correct in English grammar. Their main differences are when you want to demonstrate a singular or plural event that checks, affirms, or negates the existance of something.