Simon
Help for a verb tense.

hello,

I'm reading my first book in English and I realized a strange verb tense. The book is Harry Potter, and on this book you can found this : 

Voldemort’s powers had been destroyed the instant he had failed to kill Harry.
So Harry had been brought up by his dead mother’s sister and her husband. 

 

I know the verb tense with had+been+v+ ing but I never saw with v+ed at the end. 

 

Someone can explain me ?

 

 

Jan 4, 2016 2:02 AM
Comments · 4

It's the past perfect passive. Like all passives, the verb "be" is conjugated, and the main verb's past participle is added to the end. Consider these examples:

They had eaten lunch when I arrived (active) ----> Lunch had been eaten when I arrived (passive)

 

The sentences you give could be rewritten like this (though the passive looks much better!):

 

[Sth] had destroyed Voldemort’s powers the instant he had failed to kill Harry.
So Harry's dead mother’s sister and her husband had brought up Harry.

 

Btw to ask short language questions like this you might consider the "Answers" or "Notebook" section :)

January 4, 2016

Hi Simon,

 

As you may already know, the had+been+verb+ing is the past perfect continuous tense but this is in the ACTIVE form since the subject of the sentence is doing the verb.

 

Ex. Mary had been cleaning the house when her sister arrived.

Subject = Mary

Verb = cleaning

Who did the cleaning? = Mary, the subject of our sentence.

 

The had+been+verb+ed (actually it is had+been+past participle) is also the past perfect continuous but in the PASSIVE form as @alan mentioned because the subject is the RECEIVER  and not the doer of the verb.

 

Ex. The house had been cleaned when my sister arrived.

Subject = house

Verb = cleaned

Who did the cleaning? = We do not know because it is not mentioned in the sentence. 

 

I hope this made sense.

January 4, 2016

Hello Simon,
I think that the sentence you ask about is in the past perfect tense but in the passive voice.
Regards, 

January 19, 2016

Thank you Roushel and Alan. It's very appreciated.

 

January 4, 2016