Verb Tenses: Passive Voice

Simple Tenses

Simple Present

General facts or habitual repetitive actions
am, is, are + past participle


  • Lunch is served at noon.
  • The locks are checked every night.

Simple Past

Completed past actions
was, were + past participle


  • She was rewarded for her information.

Simple Future

Future promises, predictions, or actions
will be + past participle


  • I will be there on Saturday.

Simple Progressive

Present Progressive

Future actions (paired with go, leave, move, etc.) or actions that are currently in progress
am, is, are + being + past participle


  • The votes are being counted by impartial volunteers.
  • Joe is being crowned king of the dance.

Past Progressive

Actions that were in progress at a specific time past
was, were + being + past participle


  • They thought they were being careful.

Perfect Tenses

Present Perfect

Actions that happened at an unspecified time in the past or that begin in the past but are still currently occurring
has, have + been + past participle


  • The boat has been delayed because of the hurricane in the Atlantic.
  • Tests have been proctored by teachers for many years.

Past Perfect

Actions that began or occurred before something else in the past
had + been + past participle


  • She had been searching for clues for hours before bedtime.

NOTE: Future progressive, future perfect, & perfect progressive are not used in passive voice.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

About Writing: A Guide Copyright © 2015 by Robin Jeffrey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.