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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Non-existent or just avoided?     

Non-existent or just avoided?



Gi2gi
Georgia

Non-existent or just avoided?
 
Some time ago I was talking to my Russian colleague about the use of tense forms and  she touched upon the point that according to grammar text-books (or at least those that she has encountered, by some Russian authors) would say that some tenses do not have the passive forms.
 
The tenses that fall in this category are:
 
future continuous
future-in-the-past continuous
 
and all perfect continuous tenses.
 
It is true, that it does not sound very natural to  use verbs in the passive in the above-mentioned tenses, and the use of such forms is avoided...
 
Nevertheless,I have a feeling that grammatically there is nothing wrong with them and they have the right to exist. (even if they are used extremely rarely). 
 
I mean sentences like this:
 
My car has been being repaired for over a week now. (present perfect continuous passive)
 
I would love to hear comments about this topic. 
 
 

1 Dec 2014      





aliciapc
Uruguay

No passive voice with "been being" in the sentence is correct . . . It certainly IS avoided because it īs wrong. For me, at least ... 
Good night to all ... 

1 Dec 2014     



yanogator
United States

No, they aren īt wrong, just rare. We use them when we have to, as in your example. Bruce

1 Dec 2014     



Gi2gi
Georgia

Bruce, thank you. I had a feeling that a native-speaker would confirm this.

1 Dec 2014     



aliciapc
Uruguay

Thank you here , too , Bruce ! Thatīs why I clarified : "for me, at least ..." But I wonder : when do we have to use such a sentence ?  I would like to know more about this, as I have always corrected it wrong when I saw "been being" .... Thank you ! I know you always explain grammar very clearly here for us!  
 
 

2 Dec 2014     



yanogator
United States

Hi, Alicia,
 
Gi2gi īs example of "My car has been being repaired for over a week now." is a great example. It is a process that has been going on for a week. Because the process over time is being emphasized, we need a continuous tense. The car is being repaired, and this has been going on for over a week. These situations are rare, but they do happen.
 
Bruce

2 Dec 2014     



mohamedthabet
Tunisia

A further argument in favor of the necessity to use the passive present perfect continuous here is the idea that if we use the  present perfect simple (the car has been repaired for a week), this will mean that the car was repaired a week ago and has been functioning properly since then. However,   if we use the present perfect continuous, then two other meanings will be emphasized: the first is the idea that the problem isnīt likely to be fixed yet; and the second is that the attempt to repair the car has been going on for a whole week.

2 Dec 2014     



aliciapc
Uruguay

New to me !  Anyway, I īd rather say " The car has been at the shop for a week now and it īs still being repaired ..." , sorry, but the other option sounds too weird  ! 
Again, that īs just me!
Thank you, Bruce !  

2 Dec 2014     



yanogator
United States

@alicia,
It could be because you were taught that it is wrong, coupled with the fact that it isn īt at all common. Of course, it is never truly necessary to use "been being" or "be being". There are always ways to re-state anything, so there is no structure that can īt be said in some other way. I agree that the combination sounds weird, but it isn īt wrong. Here īs another one to grate on your ears:
 
At this time tomorrow, when you are at the spa, you will be being pampered beyond your wildest dreams. (Try not to scream as you read it)
 
By this time tomorrow, you will have been being tortured by this matter for three days. (I admit that this one is a far stretch, but it isn īt incorrect). This could be re-written, but not as effectively as the future perfect passive does the job.
 
Bruce

3 Dec 2014     



aliciapc
Uruguay

Yes, I guess I was taught that ... But your explanation made it 
perfectly clear for me now :-)
Thanks a lot , Bruce ! 
 
@Gi2gi , sorry for being so "sure" about  something which was wrong ! Promise never to do it again :-)
                 It īs good to have learnt, though  

3 Dec 2014