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The use of "been"

To whom it may concern,

In the below two sentences, they are all have letter "been" in their grammar's structure:
1) Mr. Cox has been taking the wrong bills for years.
2) He has been assigned a special team.
The sentence #1 is Present Perfect Progressive (Active sentence), while sentence #2
is Passive Sentence (Present Perfect). Could you explain why?

Thanks,
Dinh

Re: The use of "been"

To whom it may concern: (colon)

"In the two sentences below:"
We say 'in the sentence above' and 'in the above sentence', but 'below' always comes after the noun. (I've noticed that people in India always seem to say 'in the below sentence'. This may be Indian English, but not British English.)


", they are all have letter "been" in their grammar's structure: "
, they all have the word 'been' in their grammatical structure.


"1) Mr. Cox has been taking the wrong bills for years.
2) He has been assigned a special team.
The sentence #1 is Present Perfect Progressive (Active sentence), : we say 'the sentence is in the Active Voice'

while sentence #2 is Passive Sentence (Present Perfect): we say 'the sentence is in the Passive Voice'.

It's late, so I will answer your question in the morning.

Re: The use of "been"

(1) Mr. Cox has been taking the wrong pills for years.

(2) He has been assigned a special team.


The core, or underlying, element of both sentences is the present perfect verb phrase "has been". With the present perfect the past time situation is conceived of as having some kind of current relevance to the present. The addition of a present or past participle adds a further dimension to the meaning:

In (1) "has been" has combined with the present participle “taking” to form the progressive aspect, which means that the situation of taking the wrong pills is presented as being in progress, it’s imperfective, still ongoing. So we say that the sentence is in the present perfect tense, progressive aspect.

In (2) "has been" has this time combined with the past participle "assigned" to form the passive voice. Like (1), the perfect tense means the past situation has current relevance, but the participle "assigned" adds a further dimension to the meaning, that of ‘voice’. So we say that the sentence is in the present perfect tense, passive voice.

This may help you remember the difference between these two uses of "has been":

"has/have been" + present participle = present perfect tense, progressive aspect, active voice

"has/have been" + past participle = present perfect tense, passive voice.

Does that help?


PaulM

Re: The use of "been"

Thanks; it helped a lot

Re: The use of "been"

Thank you; I appreciate your help.

Re: The use of "been"

Back with you, and sorry about the delay.

The verb ‘to be’ is special in that it is not an ‘action’ or ‘doing’ verb:
“He is a teacher” : ‘he’ is not ‘doing’ something to ‘teacher’. (So note: there is no Passive Voice for the verb ‘to be’.)

However, when we decline ‘to be’ (is/was/ will be) it is the main verb in a sentence. As the Present Perfect Tense, we get;

“He has been a teacher for two years.” (‘has’ is the auxiliary verb, and ‘been’ ( from the verb ‘to be’) is the main verb.)

If we want to talk about an on-going action/an action in progress, we add a ‘doing’ verb, and it becomes a Progressive Tense:

“He has been teaching for two years.” (where ‘teaching’ is the Present Participle of ‘to teach’)

Notice that the Present Perfect ‘has been’ now becomes two auxiliary verbs, and ‘teaching’ becomes the main verb.

This is what we see happening in your sentences:
In Active Voice:
1) Mr. Cox has been taking the wrong bills for years.
In Passive Voice:
He has been assigned a special team.
Notice that in the Passive Voice, we use the Past Participle as the main verb.
In the Active Voice:
“He has been assigning students to special teams this semester.” (Using the Present Participle ‘assigning’.)
In the Passive Voice:
Students have been assigned to special teams by their teacher, this semester. (Using Past Particple)

So – yes, ‘has/have been’ occurs in both because it is the Present Perfect component of the Present Perfect Progressive Tense form of the whole verb:

has been taking
has been assigned
has been assigning

If this is still not clear to you, please, just ask.

Re: The use of "been"

Thanks for taking your time to help, means a lot!