Have been and -ing

The auxiliary verbs have and been and a main verb in the –ing form:

  auxiliary have been -ing form  
Everybody has been working hard.
He had been singing.  

A verb phrase with havebeen and the -ing form expresses both perfect aspect and continuous aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect continuous and a verb with had expresses past perfect continuous.

Modal verb and be, have and have been

A modal verb and the auxiliaries be, have and have been:

  modal auxiliary  verb
They will be listening.
He might have arrived.
She must have been listening.

Be and past participle

The auxiliary verb be and a main verb in the past participle form:


auxiliary be

past participle  
English is spoken all over the world.
The windows have been cleaned.  
Lunch was being served.  
The work will be finished soon.
They might have been invited to the party.

A verb phrase with be and the past participle expresses passive voice.

Take note (advanced level)

We can use the auxiliaries do and did with the infinitive for emphasis:

It was a wonderful party. I did enjoy it.

I do agree with you. I think you are absolutely right.

We can also use do for polite invitations:

Do come and see us some time.

There will be lots of people there. Do bring your friends.

Intermediate level