With adverbs of frequency, we place the adverb before a main verb, after 'to be' and between auxiliary verbs and the main verb.

What happens when the sentence is in the present perfect passive voice, where the main verb is 'to be'?

I have been frequently angered by his behaviour
I have frequently been angered by his behaviour

Are both correct, or is one considered grammatically incorrect?

  • 1
    See this chart. Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 16:48
  • ...showing that adverbial frequently can occur after the first OR second auxiliary verb (have, been) OR after the entire 3-word "verb element" have been angered. It's really no different to similar adverbs such as often. Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 16:53
  • Thank you for introducing me to this unique way of researching usage. Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


They are both usable in standard American dialect, but they mean slightly different things:

been frequently angered

Here 'frequently' modified 'angered', and thus emphasizes the anger.

frequently been angered

Here frequently modifies the state of 'being angered' and thus emphasizes the process a bit more.

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