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When one uses a verb in the passive voice in the present simple, does a statement always mean regular actions, but not a particular time or a situation?

Professional liability of a specialist is [being] insured with a certain insurance company for one year.

The meaning is that the liability was insured once in a certain period on a certain date. And it is not insured on a regular basis (for example, every month). Should I use the present continuous with a passive form to mean that the status (being insured) is currently permanent, but will change later?

In the report the supervisor particularly notes [is noting] that a number of serious errors are not [being] corrected by a worker in spite of the remarks and recommendations made by the management staff before.

In the above example I mean a particular situation in which the errors are not being corrected now, and the company's documents will change in the future after correcting. Correction is supposed to occur once in this case.

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Passive constructions in the present simple tense can refer to a particular time or situation:

I am bored by him. (Can mean "at the moment".)

She is alleged to be cheating on her husband.

And CNN is now calling it: Barack Obama is elected president this historic day.

Ten minutes into the film, the main character is hit by a train.

It is more common to see such constructions used to describe things that happen regularly or are general truths:

They are awakened every morning by the garbage truck.

Tomatoes are picked while still green and quite firm.

There is often confusion between passive constructions containing a verb in past participle form, and a statement where such words function as adjectives. We sometimes need to rely on context to determine which is the case. Sometimes it is impossible to make such a determination from the available information, or the line is too fuzzy to be drawn with certainty.

Active construction (subject + verb + adjective [complement]):

The store is closed. We arrived too late.

Passive construction:

The store is normally closed by the assistant manager.

Should I use the present continuous with a passive form to mean that the status (being insured) is currently permanent, but will change later?

To say that something is insured for a year is unclear to begin with. Does that mean that it was originally insured for a period of one year, and it does not matter when that happened and when it will expire? I think that in almost any context, we would want to communicate when the term began and/or when it will end. Also, the wording Professional liability of a specialist is not idiomatic in most contexts.

If we want to say something like

The specialist's professional liability is insured with ABC Insurance Co., for a term of one year.

We could not use the present continuous tense because that would suggest that the activity of being/becoming insured is occurring as a process at the time of speaking.

For the second question, a correct version of that utterance is

In the report, the supervisor particularly notes that a number of serious errors have not been corrected by a worker, despite previous warnings by management.

We would usually avoid using "are not being corrected" because that could mean that an act of correcting is not occurring at the moment. However, it could also mean that the lack of correction is persisting over a period of time. Most good writers would avoid the present continuous without making clear which of those senses they wanted to denote.

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The meaning is that the liability was insured once in a certain period on a certain date. And it is not insured on a regular basis (for example, every month).

You can insure against a particular risk on an ad hoc basis, with a defined term of arbitrary duration (e.g. a week, or 12 days, the duration of a voyage, or whatever).

I don't really see how the verb tense alone is going to clarify anything for anyone.

The specialist has professional liability insurance for the specified term.
The specialist is insured against risk for a specified term.

In the report the supervisor particularly notes [is noting] that a number of serious errors are not [being] corrected by a worker in spite of the remarks and recommendations made by the management staff before.

It's not clear whether you mean to cite a particular worker for negligence, or to point out a systemic shortcoming within the organization. Is "a worker" a particular worker or any worker within the department?

Use the passive voice sparingly, and only when it's called for.

  • 2) Make it clear, please, whether the following is grammatical: "liability of a specialist is insured" (mistake?) – user11470 Feb 3 '15 at 7:23
  • 3) What does 'present continuous' indicate in the example below: "The specialist is being insured against risk for a specified term" (correct or incorrect usage)? – user11470 Feb 3 '15 at 7:26
  • 4) I don't understand when we should use the present continuous tense with the passive voice? – user11470 Feb 3 '15 at 7:28
  • 1) I mean a single instance of negligence in the company. Maybe it is correct to use 'the' in the example. (mistake?) – user11470 Feb 3 '15 at 7:35
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    "is being insured". Context is required to determine the meaning. It could be said if the policy were under review but not yet in effect. It could be said after-the-fact, by a forensic accountant, for example, who was going over the books, and noting what was happening in the company at some past time. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 3 '15 at 13:25

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