Is Added or Has Been Added – What’s the Difference?

Is it “the thing is added” or “the thing has been added”? If you’ve just wrapped your head around past, present, and future tenses, you may be loath to hear that there are further tenses to grapple with in English.

But worry not! We’re here to guide you through it.

Is Added or Has Been Added – What’s the Difference?

“Is added” and “has been added” are both grammatically correct when used in the right contexts. “Is added” is in the present perfect tense, while “has been added” is in the present continuous tense. The former is often found in instructions that use the passive voice.

Is added or has been added

The present perfect tense is used to describe events or actions which started in the past but are expected to continue. It may also describe past events that are relevant to what Is happening presently.

The past perfect tense is used to describe actions or events that happened prior to other past actions or events, and the future perfect simple tense describes actions or events that will occur in the future.

Let’s look at an example of each tense:

  • Present perfect: The apply is added to the basket.
  • Past perfect: The apply was added to the basket.
  • Future perfect: The apple will be added to the basket.

The present continuous tense is used when describing events that started in the past but are still continuing. It may also describe actions or events that were recently completed but are still relevant to what is happening in the present.

The past continuous tense is used to describe actions or events that began, continued, and ended in the past and that are relevant to a past moment.

The future continuous tense describes events or actions that will continue until a point in the future, setting out how long they are likely to continue.

Let’s see these tenses in an example:

  • Present continuous: The apple has been added to the basket.
  • Past continuous: The apple had been added to the basket.
  • Future continuous: The apple will have been added to the basket.

Are you starting to get the picture?

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 Is Added

“Is added” is in the present perfect tense. The phrase can be used to express that one thing has been combined with another.

The phrase is perfectly correct. However, unlike “has been added”, “is added” can only be used when preceding an object in a sentence.

  • Correct: The milk has been added.
  • Incorrect: The milk is added.

This is because “is” is the present tense form of the verb “be”, which indicates the state in which something is currently existing. It’s not possible for milk (or anything) to currently exist as “added” – that’s happening in the past. 

It is, however, it’s possible for milk (or anything) to exist in the state of being added to another thing. This is why you’ll often find this form in instructions that use the passive voice:

  • The milk is added to the eggs and flour and stirred until a smooth batter is created.
  • MSG is added to food to enhance its flavor.

Some people really dislike the passive voice and think it should be avoided, but there’s nothing grammatically wrong with it.

You can also use the form “are added” when discussing multiple items:

  • Eggs and flour are added to the bowl, followed by a good splash of milk.
  • Sprinkles are added to cupcakes to make them look pretty.

“Added” is also a verb that means “extra”. As such, the “is added” form can also appear like this:

  • Is added sugar bad for you?

Has Been Added

“Has been added” is a phrase in the present continuous tense. It refers to something being combined with another in the past but suggests that the addition thereof is still relevant to the present.

So, this phrase is saying, “at the time we are currently in, this one thing is combined with another because it was previously added to it.”

Let’s look at some examples of how to use “has been added” in a sentence:

  • Your order has been added to the receipt.
  • That has been added to my long list of complaints about you, by the way.
  • Your opinion has been added to my file called “opinions I don’t care about”.

The form “have been added” would be used when discussing multiple items or following personal pronouns. This is because “has” is the third person conjugation of “have”.

Let’s look at a few more examples:

  • You have been added to the group chat “Meme United”.
  • I have been added to a Facebook group called “Toilets with Threatening Auras”.

Was Added

“Was added” is the past perfect form of the phrase “is added”. It can be used correctly in some contexts. In particular, when suggesting that something was combined with another thing in the past.

Let’s look at how this phrase could be used in a sentence:

  • Oat milk was added to this batch instead of dairy.
  • Yesterday, I was added to a bizarre Facebook group about haunted latrines or something.
  • A cub was added to the pride yesterday. Let’s hope he is accepted by the others.

Which Is Used the Most?

A look at the trusty Google Ngram Viewer lets us know that “is added” is the most used phrase. “Was added” is the second most used phrase, only just below “is added”. “Has been added”, although definitely still in use, has decreased in usage in recent years.

Is added or has been added usage

Final Thoughts

“Is added” and “has been added” are both correct, depending on the surrounding context. “Is added” is simply in the present perfect tense, while “has been added” is in the present continuous tense. “Is added” is often used in the passive voice, which is not preferred by some English speakers.