They have been cleaning.

How can I change it into the passive voice? I'm supposed to change it into the passive voice and I don't know how.

  • You need an object of cleaning. Everything has been cleaned.
    – V.V.
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 12:44
  • 1
    You can't really make this sentence into a passive-voice sentence, because the passive voice requires an object, and this sentence doesn't have one. I guess you could say "The cleaning has been done by them", but it doesn't really mean the same thing.
    – stangdon
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 16:01
  • 'Everything has been cleaned', and 'The cleaning has been done by them' do not quite convey the same meaning because cleaning is still going on as the original sentence is spoken, and not complete. Even if the sentence had an object, it would be hard to change it into passive voice without somewhat altering the meaning. You might say, "Everything is still being cleaned" or "The cleaning has been going on."
    – Bahram
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 7:58
  • This sounds like "please do my homework for me" - you won't learn very much like that. Instead, try what you can and then ask whether you got it right and what could be improved. Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 15:28
  • @Tob There is no evidence that the OP's purpose is to offload their work onto others, not can I imagine how you possess more knowledge than the OP on how they will or won't learn how much. Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


This would need "do support" or for an object to be added in order to be converted into a passive construction.

The best we could do without further information would be something that may look quite strange to many eyes, but such utterances are grammatical and natural in certain situations:

[The] cleaning has been being done by them.

More frequently, probably, with a dummy object:

It has been being cleaned by them.

What we can really determine is that whoever chose this for an item on a paper doesn't know English very well.

Related (has been being:)



  • 1
    I have up-voted this answer, which addresses the question asked very well. Furthermore, if the problem has been described accurately and completely, then I agree that the problem is very poor. However, I also tutor in math, where It is unbelievably common that students paraphrase problems incorrectly, thereby indicating that the question for which the student really needs help is different from that asked. I'd have started with a comment asking whether the problem is an exact and complete copy of the original problem. If that had an object, this answer will not help the OP. Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 15:45

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