I went to the hospital and I saw a patient being treated last night.

What kind of sentence it is being treated in the above sentence.

  • I'm sure there's some technical nomenclature distinguishing it from the semantically equivalent ...a patient who was being treated..., but would participle phrase satisfy you? Jan 9, 2019 at 15:59
  • Note that "being treated" is not a sentence. The sentence is the entire example.
    – Tashus
    Jan 9, 2019 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


The phrase "being treated" includes a form of the verb to be followed by something that's traditionally called a past participle, which you're calling v3.  This is a passive voice construction, similar to constructions like "was treated", "is treated" and "will be treated". 

The form of the verb to be that's used here is the -ing form.  Traditionally, -ing forms are labeled as either gerunds or present participles, depending on their use.  Some modern grammars call this the gerund-participle form, since the form is the same regardless of its use. 

Different frameworks use different labels to describe the same thing.  Depending on framework, the phrase "being treated" in this sentence might be labeled as a passive present participial phrase, a passive continuous participial phrase, or even (I suspect) a passive non-finite clause

No matter what label you choose, you're looking at a non-finite verb construction that has no tense, but that has the passive voice and the continuous aspect. 

  • Please would you tell me more elaborated way. Actually didn not get. What is this structure actual called Jan 10, 2019 at 14:57
  • according to you it is either gerund or present participle but they both used v+ing only but in my above sentence they used v+ing + v3. Jan 10, 2019 at 15:06
  • Well, yes. You have a phrase that contains two words. Each word deserves a label on its own, and the structure deserves a label. Using traditional labels, "being" is a present participle form, "treated" is a past participle form, and "being treated" is a passive present participial phrase. Using your abbreviations, "being" is v-ing, "treated" is v3, and you still have a structure that expresses the passive voice and continuous aspect. If you don't like passive continuous participial phrase as a label, what label would you like? Jan 10, 2019 at 16:13
  • @GaryBotnovcan hello, it is interesting theme of discussing. And I have another one sentence: Yet despite his fear of being killed. What can you say about it? What kind of construction is it? I am thinking that it is gerund, not passive voice.
    – MaximPro
    May 13, 2021 at 18:53

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