1) He has been doing it for five years - Present Perfect Continuous, doing is the transitive verb
2) He has been quiet for five years - Which form of tense? Quiet is an adjective(or past participle maybe) here, Be is the intransitive verb I suppose because subject He receives the action.
3) He has been gone for 3 years- Present perfect? As it doesn't look like a continuous action.

I'm confused as to what's happening in 2nd sentence. Does in-transitivity of verbs affect it's form of tense? I'm not sure if I'm phrasing my question correctly :)

1 Answer 1


Yes, 1) is a transitive verb, and it is used in the present (has) perfect (been) continuous (doing).

However, the verb being transitive or not (to answer your last question first) has nothing to to with the verb tense, it only refers to whether the verb takes a direct object or not, In 1), the verb do takes the direct object it.

2) and 3) are the same tense. What may be confusing is the use of gone, the pas participle of going, in 3), where it is used as an adjective, just like quiet in 2).

The sentences are both present (has) perfect (been).

You are correct in stating that in 2) and 3) the main verb is be and it is intransitive. However, again, that has nothing at all to do with the verb tense. Any verb tense that can be formed with a transitive verb can be formed with an intransitive verb as well.

  • How do He has gone and He has been gone differ grammatically? My idea- gone in 1st sentence acts as a verb and in second sentence, it acts like an adjective. Is this so?
    – Sandeep D
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 9:50
  • 1
    Correct. The main verb in the first is go, in the second be.
    – oerkelens
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 10:09

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