Recently I was going through a grammar exercise book and I found these two peculiar sentences in a section about passive usage:

"What would you most recent been told? I would most recent being told that I was a fool."

The book is "Advances English Practice" by B.D. Graver. Now, I've been studying English for quite some time and this is the first time I've come across such oddly structured sentences. The modals and the passive verbs sound out of place. In fact, I'm not even sure what they mean but I would rephrase them as:

"What have you been told most recently? I've been told that I was a fool."

Am i right? And if so, could someone explain this use in greater detail?

  • 1
    I think the word should be resent, not recent. Substitute that and it makes sense.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 12:43
  • Yep you are right, it does make sense :) Thx mate :)
    – Vigor
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 12:51
  • 1
    The first sentence should read ...being told not been told.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 13:22
  • 1
    Umm, yeah... just checked and both of your corrections are actually in the original sentences. Now I feel a little sheepish :) I guess working all day on grammatical structures got the better of me.
    – Vigor
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


The usage of would is correct in these (corrected) phrases:

What would you most resent being told? I would most resent being told that I was a fool.

The irony is pretty delicious in your chosen phrases and the mistakes that you made in quoting them. :)

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