I would like to know if we can construct a sentence in present/past/future perfect continuous tense? How common are they? why many English grammar books don't mention it?


  • You mean to have all those tenses in a single sentence ?
    – Cardinal
    Aug 15 '15 at 19:13
  • No. I want to know if we can construct passive voice structures for these tenses (perfect continuous). If yes, how common are they?
    – Sirius
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:16
  • So, why you don't try a Grammar book like grammar in use series?
    – Cardinal
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:25
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I think the purpose of this website is to clarify your doubts by putting up questions. I can't ask a book a question. I've referred several books, there is a contradiction among them. :)
    – Sirius
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:33
  • I will be happy to see those contradictions
    – Cardinal
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:35

Passive perfects with any time reference are possible.

  • That road has been being built for forty years now.
  • That road had been being built for twenty years when I started driving.
  • By the time I retire that road will have been being built for sixty years, and the damn thing still won't be finished.

None of them can be called unusual or particularly rare, there's just not a lot of need for them, especially the future version.

I can't say why your grammar books don't mention them—perhaps because once you get past the ordinary active versions it's not much of a trick to marry them.

  • Thanks StoneyB but I wanted to know about the passive construction. Example: Recently, the work has been being done by John.
    – Sirius
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:02
  • @Sirius Ah, I now see that's in your title. I've fixed it. Aug 15 '15 at 20:20
  • Thank you again Stoney. Will it be correct if I say:- This project has been being worked for the last 2 years.
    – Sirius
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:42
  • 1
    @Sirius You may say it has been being worked on for the last two years -- we don't "work" a project. Aug 15 '15 at 21:04

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