1. Review: the past continuous tense
The past continuous tense talks about:
1. an action happening in the past when another action happens
2. an action happening at a particular time in the past
3. two actions happening at the same time in the past
For the past continuous tense there must be two events.
To make the past continuous, use:
|Past event/time||What was happening?|
|when the storm struck||he was sleeping||He was sleeping when the storm struck.|
|when the doorbell rang||Tyson was watching TV||Tyson was watching TV when the doorbell rang.|
|last night||Georgina was playing cards||Georgina was playing cards last night.|
|at 4 o’clock||I was travelling to an interview||“What were you doing at 4 o’clock?”|
“I was travelling to an interview.”
|while you were cooking||you were listening to the CD||You were listening to the CD while you were cooking.|
|while we were holding the meeting||Peter was talking to the manager||Peter was talking to the manager while we were holding the meeting.|
2. Turning the past continuous tense into its passive voice
The passive voice changes ‘x did something to y’ into ‘y had something done to it by x’.
To make the passive voice of the past continuous:
1. swap the subject and object
2. change ‘was …ing’ into ‘was being + p.p.’
*Perfect participle (p.p.) = gone, done, seen, eaten etc.
3. Examples of the past continuous tense in the passive voice
|Past continuous||Past continuous (passive)|
|They were cooking dinner when I saw them.||The dinner was being cooked when I saw them.|
|Roger was listening to the record at 11 last night.||The record was being listened to by Roger at 11 last night.|
|He was cleaning her bike when I visited.||Her bike was being cleaned when I visited.|
|A tiger was eating his dog when he came home.||His dog was being eaten by a tiger when he came home.|
1. Change these sentences into the passive voice:
(i) She was washing the dog when it ran away.
(ii) The typhoon was blowing the furniture down the street when they came home.
(iii) The teacher was teaching the class when the fire alarm rang.
2. Change these sentences out of the passive voice:
(i) Four lions were being chased by 100 wildebeest.
(ii) The house was terrible: rain water was being collected by a bucket in the middle of the room.
(iii) The suspected thieves were being watched by the detectives as they walked towards the bank.