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I am learning Academic English. At one lesson, I found the following sentences:

  1. Some people have been accusing X of starting it.
  2. X have been pushing for more efforts to prevent this possibility.

I am confused about these sentences. At school, we learned that after have been we used the past perfect verb. However, in the last two sentences, we use verb+ing.

Is there any explanation, when I need to use have been + past perfect verb and have been + verb + ing?

1

It is not true that "have been" or "has been" must always be followed by a past perfect verb. That would only be the case if you were speaking in the past tense, for example, "the garden has been dug". Saying "I have been digging the garden" is present perfect.

So, your two alternatives are:

  • Some people have been accusing X of starting it.
  • Some people have accused X of starting it.

Not "some people have been accused..." which would suggest the people are the ones whom the accusation is pointing at.

The difference between the two examples above is that "have been accusing" could mean multiple accusations from multiple people, and those accusations could still be coming in. "have accused" could suggest that all the people made a single, collective accusation, or that they all accused individually, but that those accusations have been made in the past.

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The perfect in English takes the form HAVE plus past participle.

The passive in English takes the form BE plus past participle.

The "progressive", or "continuous", in English takes the form BE plus present participle.

These can be combined at will, as long as they come in the above order.

So

has accused - perfect (active)

is accused - present passive

has been accused - perfect passive

is accusing - present progressive

is being accused - present progressive passive

has been being accused - (unusual, but grammatical) - perfect progressive passive.

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Understanding how active voice changes into passive voice may help you. Examples:

PRESENT TENSE

AV:He accuses his friend of…

PV: His friend is accused of… by him

AV:He is accusing his friend…

PV: His friend is being accused…

AV:He has accused his friend…

PV: His friend has been accused…

AV:He has been accusing his friend…

…Same as third above…

PAST TENSE

AV:He accused his friend of…

PV: His friend was accused of… by him

AV:He was accusing his friend…

PV: His friend was being accused…

AV:He had accused his friend…

PV: His friend had been accused…

AV:He has been accusing his friend…

…Same as third above…

FUTURE TENSE

AV:He will accuse his friend of…

PV: His friend will be accused of… by him

AV:He will be accusing his friend…

…Same as above…

AV:He will have accused his friend…

PV: His friend will have been accused…

AV:He has been accusing his friend…

…Same as third above…

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