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Past Continuous

Present Continuous

The Passive Voice

Lesson 4

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In the second part of the nineteenth century England entered upon important stages of her artistic development. Some known painters — Dante Gabriel Rossetti and others formed themselves into a "brotherhood" with the title of Pre-Raphaelites 1 that expressed their deep admiration for the masters who preceded Raphael. This school had a great influence on the development of English pictorial art.

A quick survey of English painting about 1880 would reveal a remarkably wide range of subject matter: the landscapes in photographic detail for tired urban eyes; the parade portraits and the costume-pieces like real charades in paint; the anecdote of contemporary life, widening now to include documents more deeply socially-minded; flower pictures, horse-pictures — an art of material prosperity.

Portrait art always occupied an important part in English painting and nowadays there are prominent portraitists who continue the traditions of the famous English masters. These traditions are apparent in the portraits by Graham Sutherland. Sutherland is well-known for his drawings of the destruction caused by the German fascists during World War II.

Realistic traditions found their expression in the works of Ruskin Spear who painted common people, their troubles and joys. Paul Hogarth is known for his drawings of scenes of life in Spain, Greece, China, etc. and greatly respected for the peaceloving motives in his art.

With the twentieth century impressionism, cubism, abstractionism entered English painting and certainly influenced it, though many gifted artists have found and are following their own realistic path in art. Most of the famous British painting collections may be seen in museums and art galleries of London: the Tate Gallery, the National Gallery and others.


passive subject 'to be' past participle  
The factory is being built  
The books are being read  
passive subject 'to be' past participle  
The film was being discussed at that time
The letters were being written when I came in

EXERCISE 1 Change the following sentences into the Passive Voice.

Example: They are solving a difficult problem now. — The problem is being solved now.


1. Don't come in! The professor is examining students. 2. Can I read the article? — No, the secretary is typing it. 3. We had to hurry. They were waiting for us. 4. It was noisy. Nobody was listening to him. 5. Does he realize that they are laughing at him? 6, Look at this man. I think he is following us. 7. Listen carefully! He is giving a very interesting talk. 8, The waiter is serving us rather fast, 9. The secretary was looking through morning mail. 10. The interpreter is translating their conversation rather well. 11. The briefing is in full swing. The correspondents are interviewing the participants of the conference. 12, The company was developing a new project. 13. You can't watch the film now. The mechanic is fixing the TV set.


EXERCISE 2 Translate the following sentences. Explain the use of the verb forms.


1. The film is being much talked about. 2. The road is still being repaired. 3. An office block is being near our school. 4. Some building work is being done in Park Avenue. 5. A new machine is being tested in the lab. 6. This question is still being discussed. 7. This material is still being used, isn't? 8. Do you know that your voice is being recorded? 9. Is the floor in the sitting room still being polished? 10. The talks are still being held.


EXERCISE 3 Respond to the following.

1) e.g.- Don't enter the room -Why?

-The floor is being painted there.

1. Don't enter the work-shop. (carry out an experiment) 2. Don't enter the assembly-hall.(hold a scientific conference) 3. Don't ride this way. (widen the road) 4. Don't enter the kitchen (install a gas stove) 5. Don't switch on the light. ( fix a lamp) 6. You can't take the tape recorder(repair)7. Don't go to the library today.(remove the furniture)

2) e.g.-What's going on in that room?(pack the things) -The things are being packed there.

1. What's going on in the sitting room? (lay the table) 2. What's going on in the park? (cut the grass) 3. What's going on in the laboratory? (test a new device) 4. What's going on in the garage? (repair the car) 5. What's going on in the lecture hall? (discuss the production plan) 6. What's going on in the office? (polish the floor)

3) e.g.- Can I have a look at the letter?(type) -I'm afraid you can't. It is still being typed.

1. Can I take the documents?(sign) 2. Can I see the visitors?(show round the plant) 3. Can I take the book?(read) 4. Can I use the tape recorder?(repair) 5. Can I study here? (wash the floor)


EXERCISE 4. Translate the following sentences. Explain the use of the verb forms.


1. Huge blocks of flats were being built all last year. 2. When we came the pool was being filled with water. 3.1 was told that my article was still being typed. 4. The car was being repaired the whole day yesterday. 5. When I left the meeting, the problem was still being discussed. 6. When I entered the hall, the young specialists were being instructed what to do. 7. At 6 o'clock the floor was still being polished.


EXERCISE 5Transform the sentences using the Passive Voice.


e.g.- When I entered the hall they were holding a meeting there. When I entered the hall a meeting was being held there.


l. When I joined the visitors, the foreman was showing them round the machine shop. 2. When I entered the room they were still discussing the article. 3. At 5 o'clock the professor was still examining the students. 4. When we arrived in Kiev, they were still building the underground. 5. When I left the laboratory, they were still testing the device.


EXERCISE 6 Make complex sentences.


e.g. Enter the kitchen, cook my favourite dish.

When I entered the kitchen, my favourite dish was being cooked.


1. Arrive in Minsk, build the underground. 2. Switch on TV, show an interesting

film. 3. Arrive at the airport, see off the delegation. 4. Enter the Personnel

Department, interview a new economist. 5. Leave the meeting, discuss the resolution.

EXERCISE7 Change active sentences to passive and vice versa:


A client delayed Joanne when she was leaving the office.

The tennis club was holding a meeting at 6.30.

The doorway was blocked by Sheba, the dog.

Joanne had to take Sheba to the vet

Her condition worried the vet.

The dog was treated by the vet while Joanne went home

The telephone call confused Joanne.

The vet told Joanne to get out of the house

The police captured the burglar.

The dog had bitten off his fingers.


Читайте також:

  1. Development of the Continuous Aspect
  2. Figure 2 - Continuous signal and its samples
  3. Past Perfect Continuous

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