Part D. The Passive Voice with Continuous Tenses

  • The tenses have the same function as in the active voice. Again, the objective is to change the focus of the sentence from the subject to the object of the active sentence.


  • Past continuous: was / were + being + past participle (V3).

The Japanese army was massacring the people of Shanghai during 1942.
The people of Shanghai were being massacred by the Japanese army during 1942.
Various international treaties have significantly reduced the threat of nuclear war.
The threat of nuclear war has been significantly reduced by various international treaties.
Note that the present perfect continuous is highly unnatural in the passive voice and is generally not used.