This building should have been being built for 5 years.

  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    This building should have been being built for 5 years.
    I'm afraid that this construction doesn't work, Slovac, because the meaning isn't clear.

    I could guess at two possible meanings you might intend:
    This building should have been built five years ago. (It was just built very recently.)
    This building should have taken five years to build. (Instead, it took much longer.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with Parla, slovac.

    What do you want your sentence to mean?:confused:
     

    slovac

    Senior Member
    I wanted to express that I expected builders to be working on my house for 5 years. They built it only for 4 years and this shorter time period influenced house quality. They had promised that they would build it for 5 years.
    So maybe this sentence is not too appropriate but could you tell me please whether English does not know construction: SHOULD HAVE+PROGRESSIVE PASSIVE FORM?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    So maybe this sentence is not too appropriate but could you tell me please whether English does not know construction: SHOULD HAVE+PROGRESSIVE PASSIVE FORM?
    The sentence was not appropriate for that meaning.
    The construction is not really appropriate for that meaning either, as we would express the idea differently.
    However, there is nothing wrong with the construction in itself, though it is not commonly used.

    'Why was little Johnny playing in the kitchen anyway? He should have been being bathed at that time'.
    In this case, we would be more likely to say 'should have been in the bath'.

    The awkwardness of 'been being' - partly due to the sound, partly to the sense - puts people off using it.
     
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