We see these expressions often. ' He's gone camping ', "He' s been camping'. I know they have slightly different meanings, the second one conveys the experiential one, and the first one suggests we had to travel to somewhere first, before our having this kind of experience. Assume that we want to make these both phrases in the perfect continuous. Only the first one is possible -        ' He's been going camping '. I had to do this test for making myself sure whether the second is a possible construction. I believed it is not, and I wanted to get some confirmation about this. I was given such, but explanation is what has been refused to me.

' to have been being + ing '   is the impossible structure.

So, 'being followed by the -ing form' is what makes this construction impossible, or are there some other explanations, such as cohesion or coherence paradox, or self- denying elements in the phrase or whatever ?

I know somehow the answer, but I cannot express it. I have learned philology and I even think of linguistics. I really need to get some help, in order to make it clear for myself. It's like seeing 'never' placed in the adverb position in the present perfect continuous tense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen such a sentence.

No matter how complicated or unfamiliar the terminology  needed to explain this question might be. I would like to have it. 

You may decide not posting this question. Still, I would like to have a private help from somewhere. 

Original Post

Hello, Green, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

green posted:

You may decide not posting this question. Still, I would like to have a private help from somewhere. 

We only delete questions which are offensive or whose goal is clearly other than learning or discussing grammar, which is not your case.

green posted:

We see these expressions often. ' He's gone camping ', "He' s been camping'. I know they have slightly different meanings, the second one conveys the experiential one, and the first one suggests we had to travel to somewhere first, before our having this kind of experience. Assume that we want to make these both phrases in the perfect continuous. Only the first one is possible -        ' He's been going camping '. I had to do this test for making myself sure whether the second is a possible construction. I believed it is not, and I wanted to get some confirmation about this. I was given such, but explanation is what has been refused to me. 

You are right. If we consider that the present perfect continuous expresses an action starting in the past and continuing up to the present and probably into the future, and that "go camping" is a verb phrase, there is in fact nothing wrong with saying:

- He's been going camping for vacations all these years.

just as we can say:

- He's been staying at expensive hotels for vacations all these years.

Perhaps having the two gerunds together, "going camping," is a bit unusual, but the sentence is certainly grammatical.

green posted:

' to have been being + ing '   is the impossible structure.

So, 'being followed by the -ing form' is what makes this construction impossible, or are there some other explanations, such as cohesion or coherence paradox, or self- denying elements in the phrase or whatever ?

I know somehow the answer, but I cannot express it. I have learned philology and I even think of linguistics. I really need to get some help, in order to make it clear for myself. It's like seeing 'never' placed in the adverb position in the present perfect continuous tense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen such a sentence.

No matter how complicated or unfamiliar the terminology  needed to explain this question might be. I would like to have it. 

David might provide a more accurate and reasoned answer to this question, but the point is that the verb "be," just like other stative verbs, sometimes cannot be conjugated in perfect continuous tenses. While we can say:

- He's been staying at expensive hotels for vacations all these years.

we cannot say:

- He's been being a guest at expensive hotels all these years.

I will learn to use proper punctuation maybe. I know it serves to help understanding meaning properly. But what comes first is understanding. So I'd like to get some help on the question first, and later have some comments on punctuation, which are always present in forums like this one.

OK, thank you for making it clear for me. Is it possible that (be) has no real lexical meaning at all in English, and this is what differentiate it from (have) and (do)? If I don't respond to your answer, it is because I have to do some work. It may take me hours before I get back. I have to admit that I had the wrong expectations before my signing in here. I feel like I have a private conversation, and I like this.

green posted:

Does your usage of being  twice in a sentence have the purpose to illustrate that "being" has a special function in English? Is it some kind of a tip?

You are being somewhat enigmatic, but I understand that, being new here, you are not referring to GE.

The first "being" is similar to "behaving" or "acting" (your current behavior or attitude is enigmatic) while the second one introduces a participial clause denoting reason: I understand that, since/as/considering you are new here, you are not referring to GE.

Every single sentence above is in the present simple, right? The usage of "is" and "are" serve to make these sentences finite? They (is/are) now have some lexical meaning. Still, it is their auxiliary function being used. The usage of this auxiliary function is what makes these sentences finite./?

green posted:

' to have been being + ing '   is the impossible structure.

Hello, Green. I join Gustavo in welcoming you to the forum. I'm not sure you have understood his replies to your question and have little hope that you will understand or appreciate what I am about to say. Nevertheless, just to clarify, is it your impression that grammatical sentences like the following are "impossible"?

  • He has been being silly lately.
  • He has been being interviewed for over an hour now.

Neither sentence is impossible. Both are grammatical, and many more like them could be created. "He has been being silly lately" means that he has been acting silly lately; "being" is the copula. In the second sentence, "being" is the passive auxiliary. Compare: "Someone has been interviewing him for over an hour now."

I accidentally saw the usage of such phrases in a school text book. It was in a lesson which introduces the present perfect for the first time. I asked myself how incredibly hard would it be for a teacher to explain that the sentences containing these phrases are in the perfect simple tense but not in the perfect progressive. Of course, a teacher can decide not to mention the perfect  progressive existence. No matter of the teacher's choice, what will follow is that students will do these incorrect constructions. The reason is that we learn a foreign language by learning certain patterns. 

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