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a linen weaver has been driven by a false charge of theft away from his home and taking refuge in the village of Raveloe.

Do I have to say have to repeat "has been" again to tell the reader that "taking refuge..." doesn't follow after "driven".

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  • Yes. You need another verb before the present participle. Otherwise it looks like a gerund, which makes the sentence terribly confusing.
    – phoog
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:42
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    "and has taken refuge" or does that not mean what you want it to
    – Avon
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:42
  • The rewrite suggested by @Avon is probably better than simply adding "has been," inthe most likely context.
    – phoog
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:44
  • @Avon, why have not have been? Jul 16, 2015 at 16:47
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    For aesthetic reasons I think really. There's nothing grammatically wrong with "and has been taking refuge" but repeating "has been" is a little unpleasant to my eye/ear. Their is a subtle difference in meaning but I suspect only if you were being very pedantic would it matter.
    – Avon
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:54

2 Answers 2

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This is a question of zeugma. Apparently you want two different complements to share both the subject and the compound auxiliary verb has been:

a linen weaver has been . . .

  • driven by a false charge of theft away from his home

and

  • taking refuge in the village of Raveloe.

The problem is that has been is shared between two all too different tense formations: has been driven, perfect passive, and has been taking perfect active progressive. This zeugma thus approaches syllepsis, or as the Wikipedia article has it, zeugma Type 2. Your reader is led to expect something more like the following, with one perfect passive yoked to another perfect passive:

a linen weaver has been . . .

  • driven by a false charge of theft away from his home

and

  • taken in and sheltered by the village of Raveloe.

Then, when the present participle taking and not the past participle taken pops up, your reader has to go back and figure out the zeugma at a conscious level, which distracts from your story. So yes, it does sound confusing, and you probably should repeat the has been.

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    I'm not going to argue with Present Perfect for the first clause (though was driven might be a better choice for NNS who constantly tie themselves up in knots with unnecessarily complex tenses). But stylistically it would seem much better to dump the idea of "parallel" verb forms (including deleted elements) entirely - and is taking refuge in... Jul 16, 2015 at 17:40
  • But then, @FumbleFingers, suppose in the next sentence he is said to venture cautiously out of Raveloe. Depending on what is going on in the narrative moment to which the given sentence offers background, has been taking might indeed be the apt choice. Jul 16, 2015 at 18:01
  • I suppose I can't deny there are contexts where "more complex" tenses are appropriate. But this question is clearly from a NNS (and should by rights be on English Language Learners), so I think we can safely restrict ourselves to basic use of English. Jul 16, 2015 at 18:06
  • So it is good to repeat even if the original sound perfectly grammatical, to avoid confusion?? Jul 16, 2015 at 19:02
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    @Doeser, the original is grammatical but does not sound so: taking strikes the reader's mind's ear initially as an ungrammatical mistake for taken, even though has been . . . taking actually does work grammatically. So yes, it would be an improvement if you were to repeat the words has been. By the way, I do not agree with FumbleFingers that your question is clearly from a N[on-]N[ative ]S[peaker]. Are you? Jul 16, 2015 at 22:51
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Your sentence:

[A] linen weaver has been driven by a false charge of theft away from his home and taking refuge in the village of Raveloe.

Here is how I would word your sentence:

A linen weaver has been driven from his home by a false charge of theft and is currently taking refuge in the village of Raveloe.

You could also turn the above sentence into a compound sentence simply by adding a comma and the word he:

A linen weaver has been driven from his home by a false charge of theft, and he is currently taking refuge in the village of Raveloe.

You need not include the word currently, but personally I think the sentence sounds better with it.

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