In the following context, should I use have been done or have been being done? I want to write on the placard of a pathology centre.

Here's the sentence:

  • All kinds of investigations have been done/have been being done here for 25 years.

I know It is grammatical to write as "all kinds of investigations are done here." But it does not imply how long the pathology centre has been doing this, which seems to be a reputation and that the centre is full of experienced pathologists. Please explain, in the above which one I should use.

2 Answers 2


Usually, you need Present Perfect Continuous for expressing the sense of an action, continuing up the present moment. However, in passive voice ('have been being done') its usage is avoided. Different authors warn about it, despite technically it's not ungrammatical.

All kinds of investigation have been being done here for the last 25 years.

BBC calls it clumsy:


A more tolerant warning ('Present Perfect Continuous is less commonly used in its passive form.') can be found here:


(It accompanies an example: Recently, the work has been being done by John.)

So how to improve the style from 'have been being done'? You can't just replace Present Perfect Continuous with Present Perfect, which is for a completed action,

All kinds of investigations have been done here for the last 25 years.

since that would change the sense dramatically: 'investigations were completed 25 years ago'. Here are possible options:

  1. Switching to active voice:

We have been doing all types of research/investigation here for the last 25 years.

  1. Using Present Perfect with 'uncontinuous' verb to be ('done' is replaced with a noun):

All types of research/investigation have been a part of our work here for the last 25 years.


I like this, lets you know for how long that the work goes on still:

All kinds of investigations have occured here over the last 25 years, and continue today.

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