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Thread: have been being

  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default have been being

    "He might have been being facetious."

    OR

    "Diamonds have been being mined in South Africa for years."

    OR

    "His plans have been being sidetracked for years."

    Why would people use such a grammar construction?

  2. #2
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "He might have been being facetious."

    OR

    "Diamonds have been being mined in South Africa for years."

    OR

    "His plans have been being sidetracked for years."

    Why would people use such a grammar construction?
    That's a good question. I am looking forward to the anwers by natives / more expert people

    Charliedeut

  3. #3
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    That's a good question. I am looking forward to the anwers by natives / more expert people

    Charliedeut
    Me too. I suspect it's a dialect, isn't it?

  4. #4
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Me too. I suspect it's a dialect, isn't it?
    My guess? It's just stretching verb tenses a bit too much

    Greetings,

    Charliedeut

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "He might have been being facetious."

    OR

    "Diamonds have been being mined in South Africa for years."

    OR

    "His plans have been being sidetracked for years."

    Why would people use such a grammar construction?
    In both examples, "being" is redundant.

  6. #6
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In both examples, "being" is redundant.
    Thanks a lot, bhai.

    Greetings,

    Charliedeut

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "He might have been being facetious."

    OR

    "Diamonds have been being mined in South Africa for years."

    OR

    "His plans have been being sidetracked for years."

    Why would people use such a grammar construction?
    I'd use the first one. Why? Because that's the grammatical construction that expresses the intended meaning.
    There's a difference between, "Have you been naughty?", which could mean one instance of being naughty and "Have you been being naughty?", which means being naughty over a period of time.

    A: "Relax. He was just being facetious."
    B: "He might have been being facetious. I'm not convinced." (You can't leave 'being' out here.)

    We've discussed this at greater length before. Unfortunately the software configuration rejects the whole of "have been being" from searches.
    Last edited by Raymott; 18-Apr-2011 at 15:07.

  8. #8
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "He might have been being facetious."

    OR

    "Diamonds have been being mined in South Africa for years."

    OR

    "His plans have been being sidetracked for years."

    Why would people use such a grammar construction?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Mr. Swan tells us that perfect progressive passives

    (has been being) are unusual.

    (2) To understand the next item, it is necessary to know

    two words: to initiate (to introduce a new member into a club)

    and labored (something that is difficult to do and is not very

    smooth or elegant).

    Harper's English Grammar (by Professor John B. Opdycke) tells us

    that "At this time tomorrow I will be being initiated" is correct and

    intelligible, though LABORED.

    (3) Finally, Professor Quirk and his distinguished colleages tell us that

    we can change "The Conservatives [a political party] have not been

    winning seats lately" to "Seats have not been being won by the

    Conservatives lately," but he says this is RARE and he even uses a

    question mark (the authors are not sure whether such a sentence is

    "good" English).

    The professors add that maybe one reason we avoid this kind of

    passive is the double use of "be": be being/ been being. It is

    "awkward" (not smooth) sounding to native speakers.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: have been being

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd use the first one. Why? Because that's the grammatical construction that expresses the intended meaning.
    There's a difference between, "Have you been naughty?", which could mean one instance of being naughty and "Have you been being naughty?", which means being naughty over a period of time.

    A: "Relax. He was just being facetious."
    B: "He might have been being facetious. I'm not convinced." (You can't leave 'being' out here.)

    We've discussed this at greater length before. Unfortunately the software configuration rejects the whole of "have been being" from searches.
    I agree that in your example you can't leave "being" out without changing the meaning, but I stick by what I said about "being" in the OP's examples.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: have been being

    I agree with Raymott on this one. Ostap asked why people would use such a construction, and Raymott came up with contexts in which people might well use them.

    I also agree with Parsers's sources - this construction is rare. However, it exists and is, sometimes, appropriate,

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