Past Continuous tense (Active and passive voice)

This article helps you learn how to write sentences in the active voice and the passive of the Past continuous tense, and how to change a sentence from the active voice into the passive voice of the Past Continuous tense.

Past Continuous tense active and passive voice

In the Past Continuous tense, also known as the Past Progressive tense, we talk about actions that were going on in the past at a specific time. There are a few other situations where we employ this tense. Check out the post on the Present Continuous tense to learn more about it.

When to use the active voice in the Past Continuous tense?

The active voice of the Past continuous tense is used when you want to focus on the person who was performing the action in the past. When the doer of the action is what you want to focus on and talk about, write the sentence in the active voice.

Structure: Subject + was/were + V1+ing + object


  • I was training Megha yesterday.
  • Sam was taking the class.
  • Jon was riding your bike in the morning.
  • They were playing cricket when I reached there.
  • We were not doing anything in your absence.
  • The boys were cooking food last night.

When to use the passive voice in the Past Continuous tense?

The passive voice of the Past Continuous tense is used when you want to focus on the person or the thing that was receiving the action in the past, something that was being acted upon. When the receiver of the action (object of the verb) is more important than the doer itself, write the sentence in the passive voice.

Structure: Object+ was/were + being + V3 + (by + subject)

Past continuous tense passive voice examples:

  • The students were being taught in a weird way (by him).
  • The match was being played at a huge stadium.
  • I was being explained why to invest in that company.
  • Those guys were being beaten brutally last night.

NOTE: The doer of the action in the passive voice is not mentioned or is separated using brackets as it is less important or already understood in the passive voice. But you can always add the subject (doer) if you want to.

Past Continuous tense active to passive voice
Active voice:Subject was/wereV1+ingobject
Passive voice:Objectwas/were + beingV3(by + subject/doer)
  • Active: I was training Megha yesterday.
    (focusing on the doer of the action ‘I’)
  • Passive: Megha was being trained (by me) yesterday.
    (focusing on the object that was receiving the action ‘Megha’)

More examples:

  • Active: I was taking the class at that time.
  • Passive: The class was being taken at that time (by me).
  • Active: He was eating dinner at 9 pm.
  • Passive: Dinner was being eaten at 9 pm by him.
  • Active: My parents were watching that movie.
  • Passive: That movie was being watched by my parents.
  • Active: Jon was editing my video yesterday.
  • Passive: My video was being edited yesterday by Jon.
  • Active: Some boys were harassing your sister.
  • Passive: Your sister was being harassed (by some boys).
  • Active: They were discussing something in the class.
  • Passive: Something was being discussed in the class (by them).
  • Active: Jyoti was copying the answers.
  • Passive: The answers were being copied (by Jyoti).
  • Active: Everyone was hugging the kids at the party.
  • Passive: The kids were being hugged at the party by everyone.
  • Active: They were not feeding the cats.
  • Passive: The cats weren’t being fed by them.

Negative sentences (Active and voice voice)

Active voice:Subject was/werenotV1+ingobject
Passive voice:Objectwas/were + notbeingV3(by + subject/doer)


  • Active: Monu was not doing the assignment.
  • Passive: The assignment was not being done (by Monu).
  • Active: They were not helping us.
  • Passive: We were not being helped (by them).
  • Active: We were not recording the video.
  • Passive: The video was not being recorded by us.
  • Active: She was not buying anything at the store.
  • Passive: Nothing was being bought at the store (by her).

NOTE: If ‘anything‘ is the object of the verb in the active voice of a negative sentence, it will change to ‘nothing’ in the passive voice.

Interrogative sentences (Active and voice voice)

Active voice:Question words (if any)was/weresubjectV1+ingobject?
Passive voice:Question wordswas/were objectbeing + V3(by + subject)


  • Active: Were you calling me last night?
  • Passive: Was I being called by you last night?
  • Active: Was he not helping you?
  • Passive: Were you not being helped by him?
  • Active: When were you taking the class?
  • Passive: When was the class being taken by you?
  • Active: Where were they making videos?
  • Passive: Where were the videos being made by them?


  1. Mox was hitting me with a bat.
  2. Someone was using you.
  3. They were not helping her.
  4. Why were you beating that boy?
  5. Was he calling me last night?
  6. I was making the next lesson.


  1. I was being hit with a bat by Mox.
  2. You were being used by someone.
  3. She was not being helped by them.
  4. Why was that boy being beaten by you?
  5. Was I being called last night by him?
  6. The next lesson was being made by me.

Hope you enjoyed the lesson! Feel free to share your question, doubt, or feedback in the comment section, and also, share the post with the people that need it.

For one-on-one classes, contact me at [email protected].


What is the passive voice of past continuous tense?

In the passive voice of the Past Continuous tense, we focus on who/what was being acted upon or receiving the action at a certain time in the past. It is formed using the verb phrase ‘was/were + being + past participle (v3)’.

Which is an example of passive past continuous tense?

Here are some examples of the Past Continuous tense passive voice:
1. We were being ignored at the party (by Sam).
2. The students were being beaten without a reason.
3. We were being threatened not to go to the cops.
4. The numbers were being looked at closely at the meeting.

What is active and passive voice example of past continuous tense?

When the doer of the action is what you want to focus on and talk about, write the sentence in the active voice, and when the focus is on the receiver (object of the verb), write the sentence in the passive voice.

Past Continuous tense (active voice): You were questioning me without a reason.
Past Continuous tense (passive voice): I was being questioned without a reason (by you).

Past Continuous tense (active voice): Some people were ignoring the couple at the function.
Past Continuous tense (passive voice): The couple was being ignored at the function (by some people).

Latest lessons on active and passive voice

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Ashish found his first love—the English language—a few years back. Since then, he has been immersed in the language, breaking down the language and teaching it to passionate English learners. He has a flair for listening to the English language (podcasts, sitcoms, stories), observing the nuances, and making it easy for English learners. He is known for breaking down complex English topics and making them easy to be understood.

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