General Writing and Grammar Help/Passive verb ?


Dear Ted

The teacher (assist)__ by two graduate students during the exam yesterday.

The answer in my book is "was assisted", but I think that "was being assisted" is also correct !!

thanks for your help !!

Dear Keone:

When you use the progressive form of the verb, with "-ing" on the end, you are saying that the action is in progress.  Your suggestion would be correct, were it not for the fact that the sentence specifically says that the exam took place YESTERDAY.  In this particular example, you cannot refer to an ongoing action IF the action has already ended!  Your answer book is correct.

Keone, there is a problem with Allexperts.  A Korean student was not receiving my answers, so I suggested that he contact the "help desk" at Allexperts.  I hope you do not have a problem, but I have just answered your question on a screen that I have never seen before -- and I have been volunteering for 14 years!


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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