Forming the passive voice with progressive tenses (passive voice)

The passive voice in Spanish can be used in all tenses, simple tenses, compound tenses and also progressive tenses. 

Let's see some sentences where the passive voice is used with progressive tenses:

Mi amigo está siendo atacado ahora mismo.
My friend is being attacked right now.

Los libros estaban siendo colocados en las estanterías.
The books were being placed on the shelves.

Yo estuve siendo atendida durante horas por una dependienta muy simpática.
I was being served for hours by a very friendly shop assistant.

Miguel ha estado siendo interrogado por la policía.
Miguel has been interrogated by the police. [lit: has been being interrogated]

Ella había estado siendo perseguida por un ex novio.
She had been followed by an ex boyfriend. [lit: had been being followed]

Mi vestido estará siendo diseñado por Victorio y Lucchino.
My dress will be being designed by Victorio and Lucchino.

As you can see, in progressive tenses we will always find verb estar followed by a gerund.

Estar will be conjugated in the tense needed and will be followed by "siendo".

Estar (conjugated) + siendoparticiple 

Let's see the steps required to turn an active sentence in a progressive tense into its passive equivalent:

El perro está observando al gato. (active-present progressive tense) → 

El gato está siendo observado por el perro.
The cat is being observed by the dog.

1. The object from the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence. (El gato)

2. Place "siendo" straight after estar. (está siendo)

3. Use the participle form of the gerund in the active sentence. (observando → observado) The participle must agree in gender and number with the subject. (gato/observado)

4. Use "por" to make the subject from the active sentence the agent (the sujeto agente). (por el perro)

El perro estaba observando al gato. (active - imperfect progressive tense) →

El gato estaba siendo observado por el perro.
The cat was being observed by the dog.

El perro estará observando al gato. (active - future progressive tense) →

El gato estará siendo observado por el perro.
The cat will be [being] observed by the dog.

El perro ha estado observando al gato. (active - present perfect progressive tense) →

El gato ha estado siendo observado por el perro.
The cat has been [being] observed by the dog.

El perro estaría observando al gato. (active - conditional progressive tense) → 

El gato estaría siendo observado por el perro.
The cat would be observed by the dog. [lit: would be being observed]

Bear in mind that not all progressive perfect tenses translate literally to English. 

For example:

Las fresas habían estado siendo recolectadas.
The strawberries had been being collected.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Miguel ha estado siendo interrogado por la policía.
Miguel has been interrogated by the police. [lit: has been being interrogated]


El gato está siendo observado por el perro.
The cat is being observed by the dog.


Los libros estaban siendo colocados en las estanterías.
The books were being placed on the shelves.


El gato estaría siendo observado por el perro.
The cat would be observed by the dog. [lit: would be being observed]


Yo estuve siendo atendida durante horas por una dependienta muy simpática.
I was being served for hours by a very friendly shop assistant.


Mi amigo está siendo atacado ahora mismo.
My friend is being attacked right now.


El gato estará siendo observado por el perro.
The cat will be [being] observed by the dog.


Mi vestido estará siendo diseñado por Victorio y Lucchino.
My dress will be being designed by Victorio and Lucchino.


El gato ha estado siendo observado por el perro.
The cat has been [being] observed by the dog.


Ella había estado siendo perseguida por un ex novio.
She had been followed by an ex boyfriend. [lit: had been being followed]


El gato estaba siendo observado por el perro.
The cat was being observed by the dog.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 2 answers

Ha sido + oast oartiple vs. Ha estado siendo

Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Donald

These are two different tenses, both in the passive voice.

Ha sido + past participle has the equivalent in English: "Has been/was + past participle", for example: "El ladrón ha sido arrestado por la policía" (The thief has been/was arrested by the police)

Ha estado siendo + participle doesn't have an exact equivalent in English as this would be the literal translation and it wouldn't be correct in English: "he has been "being" observed", but we can say in Spanish "Él ha estado siendo vigilado". Here we add the progressive aspect to the more simple "El ha sido vigilado" (He has been/was watched).

I hope this helps.

Saludos

Inma

Ha sido + oast oartiple vs. Ha estado siendo

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Agreement of participle

It might be helpful to state explicitly (rather than just relying on the examples) that the past participle in the passive form must agree in number and gender with the object.
Asked 8 months ago
SilviaKwiziq language super star

¡Hola Alan! Thanks for your feedback, we will add this information to the lesson for more clarification.

Silvia.

Agreement of participle

It might be helpful to state explicitly (rather than just relying on the examples) that the past participle in the passive form must agree in number and gender with the object.

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