Which tense has been used in below sentences? Is it Present Perfect (Passive) Tense? If so, then why is there no agent?

Below activities are not done by someone. Activities have happened in the past and have present impact.

  1. At least two hydropower stations have been flooded at the site, forcing them to shut down.

  2. The water level in my city has increased up to 10 feet, due to heavy rain.

  3. My father has been injured in a car accident.

  4. Villages around the area have been cut off from the outside world, because there is no electricity.

  • I edited the examples to improve their grammar. I hope I did not affect the aspects of their grammar that the original poster was asking about.
    – Jasper
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


These sentences are indeed cast in the present perfect passive.

In a passive sentence, the Agent may be expressed with a preposition phrase headed by by, but that expression is syntactically optional: the sentence is formally complete without it.

The primary function of the passive is to ignore the Agent, or to push the Agent to the margin of the utterance. There may be any number of reasons for this: the speaker may not know who the Agent is, or may not be interested in who the Agent is, or the Agent may be inferrable by hearers from the knowledge which the speaker and hearers share.

  • For instance, your first sentence is probably embedded in a larger discourse or a world-situation in which heavy rains or some sort of outflow blockage has led to the flooding.

What is of interest to the speaker of these sentences is the fact of flooding or rise in water levels or accident or power failure, not who or what caused these events.


1) Present perfect tense, active voice.

2) "The water levels in my city have been increased by up to 10 ft due to heavy rain." Present perfect tense, passive voice.

3) Present perfect tense, passive voice.

4) Villages (in?) around the area have been cut off from the outside world because of no electricity.
First off, be careful how you use "around" and "in". "Villages around the area" means villages that surround a certain location (for example, an area where a UFO crashed).
Secondly, "no electricity" is probably incorrect in this sense. To say that "x is because of no y" is to say that "the cause of x is definitely not any instance of y". Ex. That bite mark was left by no dog. It was a vampire!
You probably meant to say "power outages", or "power failures", or perhaps even "a lack of electricity", although that last one implies that the supply is there, but there isn't enough of it.

  • ....have been increased by 10 ft... OR ...have been increased up to 10 ft where we are talking about a mark?
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:32
  • Point taken. It would depend on whether the writer meant that the water levels "were increased to the 10 ft mark, up from the previous level", or "were increased by amounts in between 0 to 10 ft, depending on the particular area". Although, I have to say "increased up to the 10 ft mark" feels redundant in its use of "up" after "increase".
    – LiveMynd
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:38
  • The writer is clear about it! The water levels are measured and there's a mark. The level reached up to 10 ft mark! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:41
  • 2
    I'd suggest leaving out "the" and "been" from #2 - instead just say "Water levels in my city have increased by up to 10ft due to heavy rain." Otherwise it sounds like the heavy rain consciously chose to raise the water level - that's not the case, it's just a passive result.
    – mc01
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 22:33

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