How to use passive with perfect tenses in English

Continuing with passive voice in English, we're going to learn how to use passive with perfect tenses - meaning present perfect passive and past perfect passive...


In the last video, we looked at how we use the passive voice with the present tense and the past tense so in this video we're going to focus on how we use passive voice with perfect tenses. If you haven't seen the other videos then go back and watch them and then come back and watch this one. We'll look at some examples together. We'll look at the structure to see how we construct the passive voice using perfect tenses and then finally we'll do a practice quiz at the end to see how much you've learnt.

As we've seen in previous videos, we use the perfect tenses to make a connection between one point in time and another point in time. So, for example, 'present perfect' is used to connect a point in the past with 'now', a point in the present. So let's look at an example of how we use the passive voice with the present perfect.

'English has been used by business people to communicate for many years'.

Now because this is the present perfect it means we're connecting a point in the past with 'now'. This started in the past and it's still relevant! To form the present perfect passive we use 'have' plus 'been' plus the past participle of the main verb. So in this case, 'has been used'. So, English 'has been used'. What we don't do though is have a present perfect continuous passive. That would sound very strange in English so you don't need to worry about that. So, just present perfect simple passive.

In the same way, we can use the passive with the past perfect as well. So remember, in the past perfect we're connecting two points in the past. So, here's an example...

'In the EU, English started to be used more a few years ago, but before that French and German had been used more'.

So, 'had been used'. So the structure of the past perfect passive is 'had' plus 'been' plus the past participle of the main verb. In this case, 'used'...'had been used'. But as with the present perfect we don't have a past perfect continuous passive, so you don't need to worry about that.

OK, so it's quiz time! So, I'm going to give you some examples of sentences in the present perfect and the past perfect active and I want you to change them into the passive. If you need more time to write down your answers or just to think about your answers then pause the video.

OK, so that is the passive voice using perfect tenses, present perfect and past perfect. Watch the video again if you're not sure and you need to go over the grammar again or to understand it more clearly. It's always easier the second time.

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