In a past narrative, I often see people using Past Perfect Progressive for things that are still true, which is odd to me, as the Past Perfect Progressive is an action that started in the past and continued up until a point in the past.

For instance

He asked calmly, scuffing his shoes on the carpet that hadn't been vacuumed for a long time

Shouldn't it be:

[...] wasn't been vacuumed for a long time

Since the Past P. is supposedly for things that stopped being true after some point in the past?


There is no progressive aspect here. This is a passive voice, "Be vacuumed" in a past perfect tense.

The present perfect would be used if we are talking about the current state of the carpet:

This carpet is dirty. It hasn't been vacuumed for months.

But the narrative is in the past (the narrator is describing events that happened in their past) So the narrator uses the past tense:

The carpet was dirty. It hadn't been vacuumed for months.

The example that give is the same. Notice that the verb "asked" is past tense. The whole narrative is in the past tense.

"wasn't been vacuumed" is ungrammatical. The past form would just be "wasn't vacuumed"

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