Green Level

Lesson Eleven

The Past Continuous, Passive Voice

S + (be: was or were) + being + past participle

This tense is confusing because the verb "be" appears twice. This example uses the verb "teach" as the main verb:  teach / taught / taught
I was being taught
We were being taught
You were being taught
You were being taught
He was being taught
She was being taught
They were being taught
It was being taught
* This is similar to the causative form which we will look at in Lesson 15, Green Level.

1. The book was being read by the boy. (passive voice)

The boy was reading the book. (past continuous tense, active voice)

boy reading

2. Pancakes were being made in the kitchen.

He was being helped by his wife.


3. Flowers were being grown in this garden. (passive voice)

I was growing the flowers last year. (active voice)


4. This man was being held in a prison because he did something very bad, but then he was released.

angry prisoner

5. She was being hugged by her brother. (passive voice)

Her brother was hugging her. (active voice)

boy hugging girl
The past continuous tense in the passive voice is not easy to use. Until you know it well, I don’t recommend its use. In some situations, it sounds strange.

Ready for a quiz? Click here.

For a quick review on the past continuous tense (active voice) go to this lesson in the yellow level



Next: Lesson Nine