Dinner has been being / has been cooked for two hours

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L3P

Senior Member
Russian,Ukrainian
Hi,guys.

"She`s been cooking dinner for for two hours". What about the passive voice in this case?
Is "Dinner has been cooked for two hours" enough,i.e. does the Perfect Tense cover the Passive Voice where
the Perfect Continuous Tense is used in the Active Voice? Or is an additional "being" necessary here?

Thanks.
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Your sentence implies that she is still cooking dinner. And if the dinner is not ready, we are unlikely to use the passive voice. We would say The dinner has been cooking for two hours.

    The dinner has been cooked for two hours means that the dinner is ready. It doesn't sound very natural, although The potatoes have been boiled for 20 minutes sounds better.

    Forget about The dinner has been being cooked for two hours. Theoretically it means that it is still cooking, but I can't imagine a native speaker saying it.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    does the Perfect Tense cover the Passive Voice where the Perfect Continuous Tense is used in the Active Voice?
    No.
    Or is an additional "being" necessary here?
    Yes. The continuous form needs to be retained when converting from active to passive.

    However, in the given example, as e2efour observes, we would not normally use the passive voice (even though it is grammatically correct).
    The reason is simply that it is awkward to say.
     

    L3P

    Senior Member
    Russian,Ukrainian
    ... We would say The dinner has been cooking for two hours
    Well,it`s OK with "cooking",but how about:
    "The doctor has been treating him for an hour now"?

    The passive should be:
    "He has been ... ... for an hour now"?

    I`m trying to see the general picture here -
    what would be the passive of the present perfect continuous?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I would not say He's been being treated by the doctor. As Wandle says, it is awkward.
    I would say instead He's been having/getting treatment from the doctor ...
     

    L3P

    Senior Member
    Russian,Ukrainian
    So,there`s no such thing as the passive of the present perfect continuous,
    it`s better to rephrase the sentence,
    right?
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    So,there`s no such thing as the passive of the present perfect continuous,

    No, that is not correct. There certainly is such a thing, and you were given examples above. However, you were also told that even though it exists, it would not commonly be used.
    it's better to rephrase the sentence, right?
    Right! :thumbsup:
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It exists, but I regard it as clumsy and I can't think of any example which I would not rephrase.

    See the previous thread at http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1689278.

    Lets see what the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says about this.
    "Structures containing two secondary forms of be (progressive and passive), such as They may be being overlooked or They may have been being overlooked, are avoided by some speakers, but they do occasionally occur."
    It also comments that such examples did not enter English until the last century.

    Take another authority on grammar (Palmer, The English Verb, 1988):
    "Forms [like had been being taken] are marked with a question mark; there is some doubt if they are possible. They are marked in one grammar (Palmer and Blandford 1939:131 ) as 'wanting', yet
    another offers (Hill 1958:220) John had been being scolded by Mary for a long time when the neighbours came in."
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    So,there`s no such thing as the passive of the present perfect continuous,
    it`s better to rephrase the sentence,
    right?
    It certainly exists.

    I could just about say "I've been being treated for a chest infection for the last week, but I don't seem to be making much progress." However, as everyone else has pointed out, the awkward-sounding repetition of been/being severely limits the occasions on which you can use it.
     

    L3P

    Senior Member
    Russian,Ukrainian
    The dinner has been cooked for two hours means that the dinner is ready.
    Thanks for the thread,it was helpful. The thing I just realized that the passive present perfect can mean two different things:
    1. The dinner has been cooked for two hours - it was cooked two hours ago and has been ready to be eaten since then
    2. The dinner has been cooked for two hours (same as This word has been used for years - people have been using this word for years) - sb started cooking the dinner two hours ago and is still cooking = sb has been cooking the dinner for two hours


    Am I right?




     
    Last edited:

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In place of 'I have been being treated' it is easier and more idiomatic to say 'I have been having treatment'.
     
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