/ Aron Thode

Passive Voice Verb Tenses

Previously, I wrote notes on how to make the passive voice and when to use it. The formation section focused on passive forms of the simple tenses, but other tenses can be passive too. I list examples here and include a handy graphic at the end.

In this post, PP refers to the past participle form of a verb.

The Simple Tenses

Simple Past

was/were + PP, got + PP

We were congratulated for winning.
His cat got hit by a car.

Simple Present

am/is/are + PP, get + PP

More money is spent near the end of the year.
Good-looking people get treated better.

Simple Future

will be + PP, will get + PP, am/is/are going to be + PP

We will be thanked.
The price is going to be raised.
You will get arrested!

The Continuous Tenses

Past Continuous

was/were being + PP, was/were getting + PP

Photos were being taken constantly.
The fridge was getting fixed.

Present Continuous

am/is/are being + PP, am/is/are getting + PP

I am being given an award.
The windows are getting cleaned today.

Future Continuous

will be being + PP, will be getting + PP

The house will be being renovated by then.
He will be getting shaved in the morning.

The future continuous appears in passive form infrequently. It can sound quite awkward and alternative expressions are possible. For example, instead of the first example, people are more likely to say, ‘the house will be under renovation by then.’

The Perfect Tenses

‘Get’ passives are still possible with the perfect tenses, though they seem less likely to appear than they do with the simple and continuous tenses. To make these examples ‘get’ passives, replace ‘been’ with ‘gotten’ (though some native speakers use ‘got’).

Past Perfect

had been + PP

Our proposal had been accepted.
The cake had been baked.

Present Perfect

have/has been + PP

Someone has been killed!
The clothes have been washed.

Future Perfect

will have been + PP

The work will have been finished by the time we meet.

The Perfect Continuous Tenses

Passive perfect continuous tense sentences are very unlikely - it's often difficult to understand exactly what they mean. I’m including examples here for demonstration purposes, but I wouldn’t recommend them to learners.

Past Perfect Continuous

had been being + PP

I had been being trained to do that job.

Present Perfect Continuous

has/have been being + PP

We have been being punished for a while now.

Future Perfect Continuous

will have been being + PP

An essay will have been being written.

Behold, my passive verb tense reference chart. The PDF version is good for printing.

A three by three chart of passive voice versions of verb tenses. Under each tense name there are one or two example sentences.

There is a chart with active voice tense examples over here.

Practice using the passive voice with these passive voice conversation questions.