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Dan is being chased but he needs to complete his mission of bringing you an explanation of the continuous passive. Does he succeed? Can he do it in 90 seconds? Will he swallow or choke on the secret formula? The video has the answers.

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BBC English Class

The continuous passive

As you know verbs have different tenses and forms. Continuous forms use the present participle (also known as  -ing) form of the verb. Passive forms use the past participle. So what about continuous passive forms? How do you make them and what are they used for? In this video Dan risks everything to bring you the answer.

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نشان دادن متن پنهان کردن متن

This looks like a good place to hide.

Hi guys! Dan for BBC Learning English. Today’s session is all about the continuous passive. I have to do it really quickly. 90 seconds or less because I’m being chased, I’m on the run for my life!

Here, now. Oh sorry. You didn’t recognise me. I’m in disguise you see. Anyway, like I said, I’m being chased. I don’t know who by. I noticed it started yesterday. I was coming out of work and I noticed I was being watched.

I haven’t got a clue what I’ve done but I think they don’t want me to teach you about today’s lesson, the continuous passive. Well guess what? They can’t stop you, they can’t stop me! English before death. Ha ha ha. Ssh, ssh.

Here’s what you need to know. OK here’s the continuous passive formula: be plus being plus the past participle. Remember it, don’t tell anybody.

Now, the passive continuous tense is a continuous tense so it focuses on actions that are happening now or around now. For example, “I’m being chased.” But it’s also a passive tense and we use a passive tense to focus on the object of a verb or the action of the verb and not the person who’s doing the thing. Especially when we don’t know who they are.

I could have said: “They are chasing me.” But because I don’t know who they are, the word ‘they’ is meaningless in this situation.

We also use the passive for lots of other reasons, which you can see here. Don’t tell anyone.

Aargh. The things I do for … I’m out of time. I’m out of here. Don’t forget, we use it in the present form or the past form, not the perfect form – too many verbs.

I’ve got to go guys. Dan for BBC Learn … They’re here, it’s too late, no, stay back, aaah, don’t touch the faaaace.

Summary

The structure of continuous passive forms is:

be + being (present participle of to be) + past participle

It's used in the same way as regular continuous forms but when the agent, that is the person or organisation that is doing the action of the verb, is not known or is not as important as the action itself.

It has present, past and future uses but is not used in a perfect structure.

  • I am being chased.
  • He was being watched.
  • They were being followed.
  • The company is being investigated by the tax office.
  • The property will be being decorated that week.

 

To do

Test yourself on continuous passives by trying the quiz.

Making the continuous passive

5 Questions

in each question, choose the correct options to complete passive continuous sentences.

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Excellent! آفرین! نمره شما Bad luck! :
x / y

End of session

That's the end of this session on continuous passives. Well done!

Next

In the next session we look at the language of a news story in News Review.

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  • Continuous passives

    The structure of continuous passive forms is:

    be + being (present participle of to be) + past participle

    It's used in the same way as regular continuous forms but when the agent, that is the person or organisation that is doing the action of the verb, is not known or is not as important as the action itself.

    It has present, past and future uses but is not used in perfect structures.

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