Tag Archives: progressif

have been being – present perfect continuous – passive voice

Thanks to Carlos Julio Salazar for this question

Is this correct in English? –

My mum has been being treated by the same doctor for four years

The answer is yes, but it’s the kind of sentence that nobody would use in reality. It’s too long, too heavy. So what we should say instead? Using the present perfect simple seems perfectly fine to me:

My mum has been treated by the same doctor for four years

Because we have included the time, ‘for four years’ we understand that the action is not finished. If you really want to use the continuous, you should reformulate with another verb – “been being” just doesn’t sound right.

My mum has been receiving treatment from the same doctor for four years

Or why not use the active voice:
The same doctor has been treating my mum for four years

Conclusion: there are many things that might be correctly grammatically speaking, but they are necessarily the best way to communicate!

present perfect progressive

C’est très difficile d’expliquer ce temps! Voici le problème:

L’année dernière, j’ai couru le marathon de Londres
last year, I ran the London marathon

J’ai couru trois marathons cette année

I’ve run three marathons this year

Je suis fatigué parce que j’ai couru

I’m tired because I’ve been running

Clair? Pas vraiment!
Parfois, on utilise un tel point de grammaire non pas pour clarifier, mais d’omettre certaines informations.
Quand on dit ‘I’ve been running’ au lieu de ‘I’ve run’ ou ‘I ran’ le plus important est qu’il y a une action mais si c’est terminé ou pas ne nous intéresse pas.

Comparez ces exemples:
I painted the house. (j’ai peint la maison, action achevée, aucun lien avec le présent: on ne sais pas quand, c’était peut-être il y a dix ans)
I’ve painted the house (j’ai peint la maison, action achevée, lien avec le présent: la maison a une nouvelle couche de peinture et ça se voit!)
I’ve been painting the house (action achevée ou pas, on ne s’intéresse seulement à l’action même, peindre la maison)

si vous n’êtes pas anglophone, c’est impossible de voir toutes les nuances, et je vous demande pardon pour mes lacunes en tant que formateur!

Il vaut mieux regarder encore des exemples afin de voir des choses comme des anglophones (je sais, je sais, on est compliqué…)

Ca fait une heure que j’attends : I’ve been waiting for one hour

J’ai une nouvelle copine. On sort ensemble depuis deux semaines: I have a new girlfriend. We’ve been going out for two weeks.

Je vis ici depuis dix ans: I’ve lived here for ten years.

Je vis ici seulement trois mois, mais je ne supporte plus cette ville. I’ve only been living here three months, but I can’t stand this town anymore.

For advanced learners:
The difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect progressive is exactly the same as the difference between the present simple and the present progressive, or the past simple and the past progressive. Think about it:

If I say “I live in London” then logically I would say “I’ve lived in London for two years

But if I choose to say “I’m living in London” then it would be normal to say “I’ve been living in London for two years

In these cases, it’s your choice, native speakers don’t really pay much attention to the grammar being used.

If I say “I’m waiting for the bus” (action happening right now), then I could ask the question:
How long have you been waiting?” which is more likely (for native speakers) than “How long have you waited?”