Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Past Perfect Continuous in Passive (Aggressive) Form

From my Twitter account:

Look, English Language, I like you a lot and I use you every day, but have you considered streamlining some of your useless tenses?

For example, the past perfect continuous in passive form? No on uses that! We might has well get rid of it, right?

Seriously, has anyone here used the past perfect continuous in passive form in any case outside of learning about it?

(for the record, an example of that one would be "It had been being mended". And yes, that is grammatically correct)
While preparing for my upcoming course, I've been going through the darker annals of the English language, and sometimes you find things like this that make you scratch your head. It's a tense that is never used, to the point that just looking at it feels wrong. While it technically must exist, I can't even think of a sentence where I would use this in an organic way. Bonus points to whoever comes up with a proper use for it.


  1. I'm currently getting my Master's in English and I don't even know what the heck this tense is. Would something like "We had been having fun" work?

  2. @Marc: Haha. Remember that it's passive, so I guess it would be something like "Fun had been being had". Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either.