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John has been doing work. Work has been being done by John. Can we make the passive of Present perfect Continuous tense? I read in different books that we can not make?

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  • The construction is grammatically valid, makes perfect sense when read and parsed carefully, but has practically no use in general English writing. HTH.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:06
  • Can you cite the sources that mention the argument?
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:08
  • @Kris: I think it's this: englishpage.com/verbpage/activepassive.html Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:13
  • @AishwaryaAR No, I meant the source that says "we cannot make the passive of present perfect continuous tense."
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:20
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    Addressed before. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:22

2 Answers 2

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"Work has been being done by John" is invalid: the "has been" implies that the work is finished, the "being" implies that it's not finished, and so it would be self-contradictory.

You can say "Work is being done by John" (it's still happening), or "Work was being done by John" (it was happening but is no longer happening.)

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  • But, I used Google,there was written these sentences correctly. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 10:51
  • These sentences were written correctly. Can we make present perfect Continuous tense passive sentences? I was confused 1st. Later on, I took guidance from Google. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 10:54
  • Yes I see: you find it used as an example on this page: englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfectcontinuous.html Nevertheless IMO (and I may be wrong) I can't make sense of the phrase.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 10:56
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    'the "has been" implies that the work is finished' shows a lack of understanding. 'He has been digging for two hours now [and needs to take a rest soon].' Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:18
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    @Mari-LouA Thank you for the example. I now see where Kris has been coming from. My issue is that I think in the first example you give the tense of "writing" is helpfully ambiguous making the past tense of "has been" fine. And the same goes for "coming" in my second sentence here.
    – Avon
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:27
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Both the sentences are in Present Perfect Continuous tense.Only problem is that 'point' or 'period' of time is necessary to make these sentences meaningful;otherwise, only present continuous will suffice. Grammatically both are correct and make sense but for that time element.

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