Can getting and being be interchanged in passive voice sentences? For example:

  1. My computer getting stopped.
  2. My computer being stopped.

Which is correct? If neither, then how can I form this sentence?

  • My computer is being fixed. My computer is getting fixed. The hotfix is being installed. The hotfix is getting installed. The computer got all screwed up by the latest nightly update. CPU was being consumed by some phantom process.
    – TimR
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:02
  • @TRomano, did you mean we can use these words interchangeably in passive voice sentences?
    – Suraj
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:21
  • In many instances, yes,"get" and "be" are interchangeable in passive constructions.
    – TimR
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:31
  • But get has the added nuance of the action coming to occur, whereas be emphasizes state.
    – TimR
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


As a learner, I should say, unfortunately, both examples are wrong in formal English.

getting and being are present participles; they participate in sentences and take on several roles. However, they cannot be used as a main verb.

If you want to imply that your computer shows signs that it will stop in the following seconds, I will suggest that you construct a sentence as below:

My computer is going to stop.

Passive present participles are usually used to focus on the object which is receiving something at the moment. For example:

Please wait, OS is being installed.

This is one sailor who remembers our ship being hit by shrapnel (Google Search)

  • This answer is open for further improvements; please help me to elevate the qualify of this answer. if you think there is something that I should add or remove, don't hesitate to declare that.
    – Cardinal
    Sep 14, 2016 at 9:33
  • thanks Cardinal. In my example I meant that some bad things are running in my computer which cause it to get stopped. I think its passive because the subject Computer is receiving action instead of performing. how can I say it more precisely?
    – Suraj
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:17
  • @Suraj Firstly, unless the auxiliary verb "is" is used, your examples are not grammatical. For instance, you can see TRomano's sentences which include "is". Secondely, "stop" is both a transitive and intransitive verb so I think you can easily say "my computer stopped"- in active voice and "my computer was stopped" - in passive voice. Using progressive aspect might imply a continuous action. My computer is stopping means that it is getting slower and slower until it stops completely.
    – Cardinal
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:42

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