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I have found sentences in some contexts which surprisingly use "is" and "been" together:

  • He is been watching too much television lately.
  • She is been feeling a little depressed.
  • The compiler is been failed to compile the code.

Why are these not:

  • He has been watching too much television lately.
  • She has been feeling a little depressed.
  • The compiler has failed to compile the code.

A similar use is found in the first sentence of this answer on StackOverflow. That was my question about Java Server Pages (JSP). Do the first group of sentences add some extra meaning, or they are just used in a fashionable manner, or something else involved?

Finally, I once saw this:

  • The work is been being done by someone else.

I was taken aback by this sentence. I found it totally dramatic—it appears to be in the "present perfect continuous tense", which shouldn't have passive construction according to any grammar rules I know.

When are such constructions used? I'm a resident of India and don't really understand them.

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The examples you give are all wrong. I suspect that your "context" is a site or a contributor whose English is not, at least with respect to periphrastic verb constructions, as good as yours. –  StoneyB Oct 21 '12 at 0:41
On review, I see I may not have made clear that it is the examples you cite which are wrong, not your own revised versions. You are perfectly right. –  StoneyB Oct 21 '12 at 1:33
Obviously, it is an expansion of 's been that was has been, by an overenthusiastic writer, into is been. Left to itself 's been would have been fine. –  Kris Oct 21 '12 at 4:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I wouldn't be too surprised if the first two are examples of the same sort of "misheard->misspelled" transitions that result in a lot of younger people thinking that "should of been" is a valid construction; I could totally see how someone could go from hearing "he has been" and "he's been" to thinking that "he is been" is what was actually said.

However, all three of your initial examples are bad grammar and should be avoided; your suggested versions are correct.

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Small but important addendum: while "is been" is not grammatical in contemporary Standard English, it once used to be grammatical (and still is in closely related languages such as German). See elsewhere on this site for details. Some dialects might still preserve it; I don't know. –  RegDwigнt Oct 21 '12 at 12:30

Is been is definitely not correct. As Hellion says, it could be a mis-hearing of 'he's been', but even then it shows a suprising lack of basic grammar.

Another possibility is that it is a mis-hearing of 'being'. It may be a local thing, but in my local Indian community (Singapore) I have heard "being [verb]ing", as though they are trying to describe a state of being in action. My hunch is that it is an import from their mother tongue, but that is only a hunch - I have no research to support it.

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No, it is not correct.

But I stand corrected on my answer, so here it is corrected. Thank you @carlo_R.

'Is' is present tense. 'Been' is a past participle. Therefore 'has been' is the correct present perfect continuous tense. http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verb-tenses_present-perfect-continuous.htm

But when I hear 'has been' I picture immediately something that has occurred in the past. 'Will have been' is something that would have occurred in the future but it has been 'conceptualized' that now we are looking at it from a further future so that it is now in the past. :) It is why the term 'has-been' is used (derogatorily) for people who used to be good at something, now aren't, but can't let go of the past.

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I have never heard that "been" is past tense; could you please explain/expand this news? –  user19148 Oct 21 '12 at 2:31
@Carlo_R.I just edited my answer. Please read it. –  BillR Oct 21 '12 at 2:49
For those who marked this down, please follow the link. You are wrong. –  BillR Oct 21 '12 at 3:08
Would have occured in the future? The future is now in the past? -1 for being utterly confused and confusing. "Will have been" is a prediction of something that will occur, and though the aspect is from a further future, it is still the future. In no way is it now in the past. Also, present perfect is not a past tense, it is pre-present (which is why it is called present perfect...). The difference is that in present perfect the anchor point is the time of speaking. The event may be in the past, but it must have a connection to the present. –  Roaring Fish Oct 21 '12 at 4:07
@RoaringFish "'conceptualized' that now we are looking at it from a further future". Sorry if you don't understand that. Try some IQ pills. Occasionally people don't understand things because they don't want to. And it is still something that happened in the past even if it has a connection to the present. Dogmatism doesn't suit anyone. –  BillR Oct 21 '12 at 4:18

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