Present perfect continuous passive?

Discussione in 'English Only' iniziata da Strider, 20 Marzo 2007.

  1. Strider Senior Member

    England, English
    I was revising the passive voice with my ESL students this morning, and we decided to look at the passive using a variety of tenses. However, when we came to the Present Perfect Continuous, I wasn't sure what to say:

    Active voice - Someone has been cleaning the room
    Passive voice - The room has been...?

    I realize that it is not likely that anyone would want to use this grammatical structure often but for my own curiosity, is it possible? How do we say it?
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    You might choose different words, just for the sake of inventing an example (somewhat forced, and not particularly idiomatic).

    The room has been undergoing its usual cleaning.
  3. nikkieli Senior Member

    Bulgaria, Bulgarian
    The room has been being cleaned.
    I find this awkward, but so I've been taught.
  4. sarcie Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    I would stumble over this if I said it - but if I needed to express this particular thought, I wouldn't consider the construction incorrect.
  5. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    I'll leave it to the grammar experts to judge whether it is incorrect. It sounds atrocious and absolutely unidiomatic in AE. If a native AE speaker were to hear it, they would assume that the speaker was not a
    native English speaker.
  6. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

    Florida USA
    USA English (southern)
    I hope that's not going to be on the final.
  7. eazyebeneezer Member

    Bordeaux, France
    USA English
    The room has been getting cleaned. This will most likely not appear in any grammar reference books but expresses the continuous idea. And in other contexts we might say: 'I've been getting asked the same questions all day'. I would call that present perfect continuous passive. It's perhaps more common than we realize.
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    It's perfectly correct, and expressions like this are actually quite common in speech:

    "This room's been being cleaned this way for 20 years, and I'm not going to start doing it differently now!"

    You'd probably avoid it in writing though, as it does look a bit strange:D

  9. ALEX1981X Senior Member

    Hi Loob and everybody :)

    I was reading all about this construction and I have no doubt it is correct and proper English

    But, what If we say

    "This room has been cleaned this way for 20 years....etc.... ??

    If we were to use the passive form of the Present Perfect instead, what would be the difference in meaning (if any) ???

    Thanks a lot
  10. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    This is rather like asking, "Is there a difference between "He is happy" and "He is being happy." The continuous form is simply another variation within a tense.

    "This room's been being cleaned this way for 20 years - This would be said whilst watching someone clean the room or as a concluding statement to an explanation about how the room is cleaned. It indicates a continuity of tradition/practice.

    "This room has been cleaned this way for 20 years. - This could be said at any time.

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