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"How many people like this is not the point. The point is that the people being asked have no idea whether they want it or not."

Is the sentense above grammatically correct? If yes, why there is "being asked" and what kind of tense is it?? when should I use this form "being P.P."?? Thank you.
Comments  
It's a passive construction:
The point is that the people (who are) being asked have no idea whether they want it or not.

Look at these simpler sentences:
Someone is asking people questions. (present continuous, active)
People are being asked questions. (present continuous, passive)
Thank you. But when the speaker say it, the people has not been asked yet. So why is it in continuous tense??
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But when the speaker say it, the people has not been asked yet.
says, have
YankeeIt's a passive construction:
The point is that the people (who are) being asked have no idea whether they want it or not.

Look at these simpler sentences:
Someone is asking people questions. (present continuous, active)
People are being asked questions. (present continuous, passive)
"The point is that the people being asked have no idea whether they want it or not." Is it because of gerund so "being" has become a -ing form??

When these have meanings which are used to talk about the future from the given time, the to-infinitive is used, but when looking back in time, the gerund.
  • I can't bear to see you suffer like this. (You are suffering now.)
  • I can't bear being pushed round in crowds. (I never like that.)
Hi CS
"The point is that the people being asked have no idea whether they want it or not."
'Being' is not a gerund in the original sentence.

To me the sentence means that someone is currently asking people questions about whether they want something or not, and these people are answering that they do not know whether they want it or not. ('is asking' = present continuous)

The sentence might also be interpreted as present perfect continuous. In this case, there would not really be much difference in the meaning. The activity would still be current. The present perfect continuous can be used to talk about an activity that began in the past and has coninued up to now. When you use the present perfect continuous, the activity will either continue into the future, or if it has just ended, it has a very direct effect on the present (now).

Someone has been asking people questions. (present perfect continuous, active)
People have been being asked questions.
(present perfect continuous, passive)

Here is the original sentence with a present perfect continuous interpretation:
"The point is that the people (who have been) being asked have no idea whether they want it or not."

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>"The point is that the people being asked have no idea whether they want it or not."

the people being asked = the people which are asked

in this context
Hi Coscientious Student (what a long nick, gosh),
I think what you are asking has to do with this:

There was a man (that was) walking in the middle of the street...
I don't believe that all the people (that were) questioned didn't see what happened...
All the people (that have) been questioned so far have no idea...
All the people (that are) being questioned have no idea...
All the people (that were) questioned had no idea...


In other words, often you can leave out the part in parentheses... I hope it's clear, I don't know how to explain that. Emotion: smile

PS: by the way, Marius, I saw you wrote "the people being asked = the people which are asked". I thought "which" was not possible in any way there, only "that" or "who". Is it so?
ConscientiousStudentThank you. But when the speaker say it, the people has not been asked yet. So why is it in continuous tense??
Hi Conscientious,

Adding to the other's comment, I would like to offer an extra 2 cents.

There was a man (that was) walking in the middle of the street...

There was a man- main sentence. The underlined portion is an adverbial clause describing what he was going. [Walking] is being used as a present participle.

[parked there yesterday]. The first part is the main sentence. The second part is an adjective clause describing the car. [parked] is a past participle of the verb [be],being used as an adjective.

In these two examples, both have a clause to support the main sentence. One is active and the later is passive.

In the active construction, we can use present participle to create supporting clause to add more

details to the sentence. i.e. My accountant called me yesterday, asking me if I have all my tax

documents ready for my income tax preparation.

In the passive construction, past participle can be used to describe something being / or have been done on inanimate objects. i.e. The , (which was) built around 200 BC was the first man made structure visible from the moon. The underlined is the adverbial clause modifying the “Great Wall” in an implied passive construction.

I hope this will help you understand better along with other's comments...
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