I need to know whether the verb "be" is always considered as a stative verb.

We don't have " I've been being waiting here for 2 hours"

But is it also incorrect to say " I've been being very patient with my students during all these years"?

  • 2
    Why would it be incorrect? Stative verbs can be used with the progressive aspect in some contexts.
    – alphabet
    Commented Apr 23 at 16:00
  • 2
    Being seems redundant in your sentence. "I am being patient", but "I have been patient". Commented Apr 23 at 16:42
  • 1
    To be rude: He has been being rude to his teachers; we should have a word with him. Answer: Yes, in some cases. Your student one seems ok to me. been being rude, patient, nice etc. are heard more in speech rather than seen in writing.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 23 at 21:07
  • 1
    Afaq: Please respond. Thanks. I worked quite hard on an answer for you and a response from you would be nice.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 25 at 17:25
  • 1
    @Lambie I'm sorry, I've just seen your answer. it explains the matter thoroughly. Thank you for the valuable explanation on the subject
    – Afaq Nafar
    Commented May 27 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


being + adjective (describing a person's state/attitude or thing's state) is often used. These are formed in the following way.

  • He is being rude to you.

  • They are being kind to us.

  • We are being fair with her.

  • The organization is being very uncooperative.

  • I'm being very patient with you.

So, now imagine this you do this with being rude [or being + plus any type of adjective like that]. Phrases like being rude can change see a change in the be main verb in the following way:

  • He is being rude to you. [right now] present continous
  • He was being rude to you. [for example: yesterday. past continuous]
  • He has been being rude to you this past week. [present perfect of be + being rude).
  • He 'd been being rude to you for weeks when the ruckus erupted.

Callaghan and Hemingway boxed together quite a bit that summer. Callaghan may have been being generous when he called Hemingway an amateur. have been being generous

This one, I’d like anyone to win (except the old lady from Two and a Half Men), but I’ve a soft spot for the ever-amazing Jane Lynch who has been being funny on TV since forever. Very strong female supporting actresses. British TV show commentator

These are heard in conversation, and are seen less often in writing but in fact may and do occur.

Here is an example from a British publication about education:

In response to Boles’ comments, colleges from the region were eager to refute claims that they have been being uncooperative. FE WEEK

Here is another example, from a linguistics paper, commenting on two sentences "Please hand me the glass or a glass", the author writes:

Furthermore, by the rule of Quantity, the speaker would not have been being cooperative if they did not believe that there was some way for the addressee to figure out which glass this is.

.Definiteness and Identification in English

So the verb be is stative: He is being rude. or He has been being rude. Being + adjective does not change when be as the main verb changes.

  • You have found a nonce construction, and I believe it an error. There is not a single hit of "been being cooperative" in Google Books: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – LPH
    Commented May 25 at 16:52
  • @LPH: That's why I'm saying you are non-native: He's being uncooperative or cooperative. can both go in the present perfect. What do you not get about the form: being + adjective? There's nothing nonce about it.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 25 at 17:13
  • Callaghan and Hemingway boxed together quite a bit that summer. Callaghan may have been being generous when he called Hemingway an amateur. being + generous finebooksmagazine.com/fine-books-news/…
    – Lambie
    Commented May 25 at 17:21
  • Here again, "been being generous" shows not a single hit; the normal fom is "been generous". What more do you say by making this a progressive form? Nothing, I believe. It can be taken as a reclassified progressive, though, and taken to mean "put on a show of generosity"; I'll agree to that, a rare meaning attached to "be generous" through the progressive. Otherwise what is the use of a progressive that adds nothing?
    – LPH
    Commented May 25 at 17:40
  • @LPH All my examples are kosher. being generous does not mean been generous: He is being generous. versus He has been generous. versus He has been being generous with his time. The fact you are even arguing this, shows you don't know. Ask any other native speaker worth their salt. There are many of them here.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 25 at 17:48

This answer (II) to a question closely related to your query does provide the basic principles. In addition, the following section makes explicit that the progressive is not usually acceptable with stative verbs.

A Comprehensive Grammar of the ùenglish Language (Quirk et al.)
§ 4.26 VState, event, and habit with the progressive

The three verb senses of state, event, and habit are differently interpreted with the progressive:
(a) STATE PROGRESSIVE In many cases […] the progressive is unacceptable with stative verbs:

  • We own a house in the country.
  • *We are owning a house in the country.
  • *Sam's wife was being well-dressed. This can be explained, in part, by the observation that stative verb meanings are inimical to the idea that some phenomenon is 'in progress'. States are 'like-parted' in that every segment of a state has the same character as any other segment: no progress is made. (Contrast We are building a house in the country.)

In your particular case, no reclassification seems possible (as in the case of "**Mary is being fair haired.*").

  • 1
    The question is about: being plus an adjective. The only way to say that someone is being rude is to say it: He is being rude to his teacher.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 23 at 21:09
  • @Lambie Not at all, you are talking rubbish! This is no question about adjectives and you have no notion of what is aspect (or pretend it's not a matter of aspect)! "He is rude to his wife/lawyer/friends/lady/…" (google.com/… - rude to me - being rude to me: books.google.com/ngrams/…). You should keep the progressive aspect what it is, the aspect of things in progress.
    – LPH
    Commented Apr 24 at 2:17
  • There is an adjective: patient. Look again at the question. being rude is an expression; He's been being rude to his teacher.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 24 at 18:15
  • @Lambie "Being rude" is a phrase, and not an idiom, as you seem to insinuate; it needs no more defining than "being sad/disconsolate/merry/agressive/immature/lazy/courageous…". Is it a new "expression"? It is not found in any dictionariy at the idiom sections. (Not in the Wiktionary (800 000 entries)) In the case of "rude" a reclassification of the meaning seems possible and the ngram supports this contention, but in the case of "patient" no reclassification makes sense (the ngram shows no hits: (1/2)
    – LPH
    Commented May 25 at 11:18
  • @Lambie books.google.com/ngrams/… . (2/2)
    – LPH
    Commented May 25 at 11:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .