Have been rude vs have been being rude

ALEX1981X

Banned
Italian
Hi all

I'm working on these two sentences

-I have been rude
-I have been being rude

Is it the last one correct or acceptable in some way ??
I was wondering if for instance an actor who would have to be rude in a scene maybe could say a comment like "I have been being rude in that scene".

Anyway, I need your contributions to solve this problem :)

Thanks everybody
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    You should stop working on the second sentence, Alex :), because such grammar does not exist. Well, that said, I could, probably say something like this while being sarcastic, e.g.
    Some girl: Oh, sorry I called you an asshole, Boozer! I'm being a little rude, I know!
    Boozer: Well, you've been being :cross: a little rude for the last two hours, sweetheart. I'm really getting used to it...
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    ...
    if for instance an actor who would have to be rude in a scene maybe could say a comment like "I have been being rude in that scene". ...


    Thanks everybody
    One could respond:
    Rude? You've been being oblivious!

    Correction: Oops! :eek: I wanted to say: Rude? You've been being obnoxious. (And oblivious to all the hurt.) :)
     
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    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Wolf but is it correct or not ?? Why have you written -you've been being obliviuos- ? It is the same
    Also boozer said it is wrong. I'm a bit confused sorry
    Maybe boozer couldn't imagine a proper context for your sentence.
    I think that my response is appropriate. The sentence may look awkward because it is a bit long (especially in its uncontracted form) but it is grammatically correct and if you want to stress that the rudeness has been taking place for some time then why not say it.
    I couldn't say, though: The poor thing has been being very unhappy because of your nasty behaviour.:cross: You can't use the progressive form of 'be" with feelings.
    But I could say: The poor thing was very unhappy because of your nasty behaviour. Or: The poor thing is still very unhappy because of your nasty behaviour.
     
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    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    So my second sentence is correct because it is a behaviour and an action that has taken place for some time, isn't it ??
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So my second sentence is correct because it is a behaviour and an action that has taken place for some time, isn't it ??
    I guess you wanted to say: ... my second sentence is correct because it describes a behaviour that has been taking place for some time. It is correct because you wanted to stress the in-progress aspect of this action. But wait for a native speaker to confirm this.
     
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    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    I was wondering if for instance an actor who would have to be rude in a scene maybe could say a comment like "I have been being rude in that scene".
    Thanks James so it's grammatically possible but not common at all.
    Could it be used in a context like in this one that I posted above for instance ?? Might it work in your view??
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Yes, I can see that. For example, "I have been being rude in that scene when I really should have been ___ ". An actor, though, would probably say "I have been acting rude in that scene when I should have been acting hurt".

    In other words, it's possible but I wouldn't recommend using it regularly. :)
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    -I have been rude :tick:
    -I have been being rude -I would not use this sentence without adding "I have been the one/the person being rude"


    Bic.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    That certainly helps a lot, bicontinental. I hadn't thought of that. Something about the line-up of "have been being", all in one chunk, is what makes it seem awkward. That's a very good point.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I still say "have been being" is nonsense from a grammar point of view. I would appreciate anyone finding a grammatical example, possibly from a grammar book, that contains such a construction. :)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Your wish is our command: :)

    http://books.google.com/books?id=K9...Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false

    It is called the "perfect progressive" in this chart. It is also marked with a footnote that says it is "very infrequently, if ever, used."

    It also appears in this grammar book (although I can't make sense of the chart):

    http://books.google.com/books?id=MR...Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false

    This book reviews it from a historical perspective:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=F8...ook_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ

    One of the examples given is "He might have been being questioned by the police." I can see where that one makes sense. If you make it "He might have been questioned by the police" it loses the simultaneous aspect of the original and makes it a completed action.

    A: "Where was the suspect at the time?"
    B: "He might have been being questioned by the police." :tick:
    B: "He might have been questioned by the police." :cross: (This doesn't even seem to follow the question)
     
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    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I still say "have been being" is nonsense from a grammar point of view. I would appreciate anyone finding a grammatical example, possibly from a grammar book, that contains such a construction. :)
    Ironically it's in grammar books where almost all of the examples seem to occur. :rolleyes:

    The "been being" combination is not one I would ever use or recommend.

    Any further time spent on this ridiculous topic will have been being wasted. Does that count as a genuine real-world use? I suspect not.:(

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=898
    In order to encourage the empirical impulse among our readers, the first person who finds and documents a genuine, real-world use of "will have been being" will receive a free lifetime subscription to Language Log.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I don't see any problem with "I have been being rude" - sitting here and just talking about myself and not helping you/by not paying any attention to your other guests/by ignoring your requests/blah blah - "and I apologize."
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Again, I think "I have been being rude " is perfectly fine and something I would definitely say if I felt I had been being rude to someone all afternoon (not of course, that I am ever that rude :)). But I think it is perfectly okay to say in normal conversation.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Moderator's note:

    The topic sentence is not a passive, hence discussion of passive constructions and their existence or lack thereof is off-topic.

    Thank you.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I guess boozer must have been (being?) unaware or oblivious of the fact that he was discussing the passive. However, I found an interesting point in the quotation he provided from Randolph Quirk's book: "The awkwardness of the perfective progressive ... is probably due in part to the juxtaposition of two forms of the verb be ..." So the sentence we have been discussing may look awkward because of the "been being" part. :)
     
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    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I guess boozer must have been (being?) unaware or oblivious of the fact that he was discussing the passive. However, I found an interesting point in the quotation he provided from Randolph Quirk's book: "The awkwardness of the perfective progressive ... is probably due in part to the juxtaposition of two forms of the verb be ..." So the sentence we have been discussing may look awkward because of the "been being" part. :)
    Well, I was oblivious, initially. :D Just got carried away and then it struck me it was not the issue being discussed here. However, as you rightly point out, R. Quirk mentions the awkwardness of similar constructions arising from the juxtaposition of two forms of the verb "to be". Which is, already, very relevant indeed, and I thank you for stressing it. :)
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Not to beat a dead horse, but I would say "I have been sitting here all afternoon and just realized that I have been being rude, because I have just been talking about myself and ignoring you" All three "have been ...ing" are the same to me.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Ironically it's in grammar books where almost all of the examples seem to occur. :rolleyes:

    The "been being" combination is not one I would ever use or recommend.

    Any further time spent on this ridiculous topic will have been being wasted. Does that count as a genuine real-world use? I suspect not.:(

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=898
    In order to encourage the empirical impulse among our readers, the first person who finds and documents a genuine, real-world use of "will have been being" will receive a free lifetime subscription to Language Log.
    The question here is about "have been being", not "will have been being". Here are a few real-world examples:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=aA...AEwBzge#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false

    So far as you're concerned Jim could have been Joe and you could have been a Senegambian and white might have been black and being happy have been being miserable.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=RO...AEwCTgo#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    The coke subsidiary of the United is quoted at $2 but sales have been being manifested in spot purchases, no States Steel Corporation has been recorded as low as $1.50

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Vx...AEwCDg8#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    As you will have seen from the evidence, we have an option, which we have not exercised, to buy in to work which would have been being done by an American company had the drilling programme not been blocked by a popular demonstration.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ia...AEwBTgU#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    I have been being a bit of a prat, trying to put a distance between myself and all this, kid on for a couple of weeks that there s no real hassle, nothing I can 't handle.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=lJ...AEwCDgo#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    The challenge may have been going head-to-head against the other team's best defensive player; it might have been related to being a ''marked man'' in every game he played; or it might have been being physically roughed up and still being able to overcome.


    I'm not saying it's elegant, :) but I think it's a stretch to say it doesn't exist and that it isn't (and shouldn't) be used.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Ironically it's in grammar books where almost all of the examples seem to occur. :rolleyes:

    The "been being" combination is not one I would ever use or recommend.

    Any further time spent on this ridiculous topic will have been being wasted. Does that count as a genuine real-world use? I suspect not.:(

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=898
    In order to encourage the empirical impulse among our readers, the first person who finds and documents a genuine, real-world use of "will have been being" will receive a free lifetime subscription to Language Log.
    The question here is about "have been being", not "will have been being". Here are a few real-world examples:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=aA...AEwBzge#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false

    So far as you're concerned Jim could have been Joe and you could have been a Senegambian and white might have been black and being happy have been being miserable.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=RO...AEwCTgo#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    The coke subsidiary of the United is quoted at $2 but sales have been being manifested in spot purchases, no States Steel Corporation has been recorded as low as $1.50

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Vx...AEwCDg8#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    As you will have seen from the evidence, we have an option, which we have not exercised, to buy in to work which would have been being done by an American company had the drilling programme not been blocked by a popular demonstration.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ia...AEwBTgU#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    I have been being a bit of a prat, trying to put a distance between myself and all this, kid on for a couple of weeks that there s no real hassle, nothing I can 't handle.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=lJ...AEwCDgo#v=onepage&q="have been being"&f=false
    The challenge may have been going head-to-head against the other team's best defensive player; it might have been related to being a ''marked man'' in every game he played; or it might have been being physically roughed up and still overcome.


    I'm not saying it's elegant, :) but I think it's a stretch to say it doesn't exist or that it isn't (and shouldn't) be used.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    JamesM, I have to commend you for your persistence in this matter, which obviously paid off...I'm almost beginning to think it's sounds OK ;)

    But, if we accept this verbal tense of to be (i.e. the present perfect continuous: I have been being) as grammatically correct, I suspect we will have to accept all the other continuous tenses as well (i.e. I had been being, I will be being and I will have been being.. rude?) Now that seems a bit much! I just wonder if there isn't some grammatical rule that disqualifies the verb "to be" from being conjugated into all these awkward sounding tenses, when "to be" is the auxiliary verb already used to construct the combined verbs.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think there are many things in English that are grammatically acceptable but simply avoided because they "feel" awkward to the native speaker or writer. I don't have any problem classifying these outlying tense constructions as falling into that category. :) I would avoid them, too. I just think it's valuable to make a distinction between "awkward and I don't want to use it because it feels awkward" and "doesn't exist".

    From a pure style standpoint, I would be surprised if you could find anyone promoting these tenses. :)
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    These are perfectly normal English tenses and I don't see why bicontinental rejects them, as they are not infrequently used. "I realized that I had been being too stuborn" is differeent from "I had been too stubborn" in that it suggests that I was repeatedly too stubborn or too stubborn over a longer period of time, as opposed to one occasion.

    Here's something from Google that shows this is a perfectly normal idiomatic usage:
    My ex bf and I 19 & 20 had been together 7 years , 2 of which we were engaged. ... But we talked about it and he changed his mind , or so he told me. Now up untill he had decided to stay , I had been being overly clingy.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Touche, James. :) Then let me point out one more complication in using this construction:
    "Being rude" implies a temporary state
    "Have been" suggests a continuous state
    These two work in opposite directions and semantically clash. The only way out is to assume a temporary state having become a continuous one, as in the example (good or bad) I gave in my initial post here. That, too, greatly limits the scope of possible usage of such constructions...
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    They don't semantically clash. The use of "have been being X" specifically implies that you were not X at just one time but that you were X over a longer period of time or repeatedly. That's the point of the construction! How do I indicate that I was being rude repeatedly for several hours, days, weeks or months, as opposed to one rude action of statement? This is the construction. It's perfectly idiomatic and not that infrequent.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I do still think it's infrequent but I also think it's idiomatic. Going back to an earlier example:

    A: "Where have you been all this time?"
    B: "I've been being questioned by the police."

    "I've been questioned by the police" doesn't relate to the time period in the question. It's a statement of fact with no apparent relation to the question. I can easily hear A saying, "Fine. That still doesn't explain where you've been all this time."

    "I've been swimming/dancing/being questioned by the police" all talk about what you were doing for that period of time. That period of time is over but the person asking the question wants to know what you were doing during that time.

    A: "What have you been doing on Spring Break?"
    B: "I've been being very naughty." ;)

    It doesn't sound strange and odd to my ears in that context.
     
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    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I do still think it's infrequent but I also think it's idiomatic. Going back to an earlier example:

    A: "Where have you been all this time?"
    B: "I've been being questioned by the police."
    I've already been being severely reprimanded for disturbing the passive voice, so I'm not going there again :D Although I could... :)
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Oh, I thought you were only reprimanded one time, but if that had been the case, you would have just said 'I have already been severely reprimanded."
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I do understand the tempation, but it might be preferable to use the construction correctly! It actually does mean somethink, you know!
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Been there; done that. (Been rude, that is.)

    Are you trying to say that he "had been" (in the past) rude for a period of time ("being")?

    Something like: Now you are nice to me but you were rude to me for two years before that.

    Which shows the rudeness occurred int he past and for a duration of two years.

    If you are trying to say that the rudeness occurred in the past and had a duration over time, then I would rewrite the entire sentence.

    You actor might say, "The character I portray behaves rudely throughout the entire scene."
     

    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    After all your answers it seems that the construction -have been being- is grammatically acceptable but not very common though. I get the impression that it just stresses a behaviour over time in the active form of a present perfect progressive
    I just wanted to know if it was correct or just a mistake.

    Sorry for the delay guys, I thank you all :)
     
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