If I want to say:

She is hating him

I say:

She hates him

But should the same technique work with passive?

She hates him - he is hated by her

She is hating him - He is hated by her OR he is being hated?

Because in "he is being hated?" the verb "hate" doesn't have the "ing" form, the "being" has.

2 Answers 2


The verb "hate" indicates a state, and so the continuous form "is hating" suggests that the state is temporary. The continuous form is rare in English.

Similarly, in the passive voice, the verb still indicates a state:

He is hated.

You could use a continuous form (being hated) to particularly indicate a temporary state. But normally this is not needed or used.


Technically speaking, the passive of "she is hating him" is "he is being hated by her". However, it is often appropriate to remove the progressive aspect when passivising a progressive verb. This might be one of those.

Generally, "X is being Yed (by Z)" is a fairly awkward phrase, but it has its uses.

That project is being worked on by Bob

The active version would be more usual, "Bob is working on that project", but if there was a need to emphasise that you were referring to "that project", the passive might be used.

"So, I was thinking we would give the foo project to Marcie."
"I thought Marcie was busy working on the bar project."
"No, that project is being worked on by Bob."

It's not perfectly natural; "that project is Bob's" would be more likely. However, it would not be seen as weird or wrong.

However, I struggle to think of uses of the progressive with a verb describing state (rather than action) that are likely to be passivised and remain progressive. The main case I can think of would be the so-called present historical, where present tenses are used to describe stuff in the past. It's popular with newspapers, popular histories, and raconteurs.

So there I am, just hating him, thinking he's a complete jerk. And he's planning this wonderful surprise, all while being hated by me - and knowing it, too.

Even that is a little contrived, and could be more formally phrased in ways that avoid such things, including the present historical, but in most dialects it would be usual to not passivise the present progressive in that way. It's not at all unusual, when one passivises the present progressive, to use to be and the past participle:

He is hated by her
The books are read by the children

The situation is made more awkward here by the fact that hate is a verb of state, or a stative verb. That means the verb describes the way something is, rather than what someone is doing. Progressive participles are unusual as forms for a principal verb when that verb is stative.

  • Just if you say "She hates him" it's like a fact, it happens usually, often, constantly etc. But "she is hating him" shows some specific process which is happening right now and may be not constant at all. So, I see some definite necessity of using both of them because the ideas of using are really different. Mar 2, 2019 at 9:49
  • Actually it's not what I meant. I mean the native speakers don't use the progressive verbs much in continuous when the verb has "ing" ending like 'She is hating him" or when the verb doesn't have this ending but the Tense is Continuous itself "He is being hated". Here, "he is being hated" the verb "hate" doesn't have this "ing" but the senetnce itself is in Continuous. I meant if it's better to say "She hates him" instead of 'She is hating him" because this verb has "ing", is "he is hated" better than "being hated", too, even though the verb doesn't have the "ing" ending? Mar 2, 2019 at 9:51
  • Ah. I think the issue here is that it's a verb of state, or stative verb. It's something that people, in a sense, are, rather than something they do. I didn't consider that aspect in my answer. The use of the progressive is unusual with stative verbs.
    – SamBC
    Mar 2, 2019 at 10:41
  • Added notes on stative verbs to answer.
    – SamBC
    Mar 2, 2019 at 10:43
  • So, if it's better to say "She hates him" intead of "She is hating him", the same way "he is hated by her" better than "he is being hated by her"? Mar 3, 2019 at 16:51

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