I'm trying to figure out what tense (or tenses) are involved when you have a participle with "to be." Examples:

Ballet is performed in the theatre. Decorum is maintained in the ballroom. English is used in the classroom.

It seems to me like present perfect continuous but I always thought those involved gerunds, not participles. Passive present perfect?

EDIT: I'm aware of that present passive is formed with -ed but was wondering if the above examples were somehow different from, say, He is intoxicated. He is intoxicated indicates his present state of being, not how he was yesterday and how he will be tomorrow. The decorum in the ballroom, on the other hand, indicates that decorum is, has been and will be maintained--that's why I wondered if these examples were some form of perfect tense.EDIT

  • It's in the present simple passive voice. Active: "Our dancers perform ballet in the theatre" Passive "Ballet is performed by our dancers/company" Active: "We use/speak English in the classroom" Passive: "English is used/spoken in the classroom by everyone/the class/students and teachers" etc. I'm too sure how to transform the second example into active, but I suppose "The management requests that decorum is maintained in the ballroom at all times" is plausible. – Mari-Lou A Nov 28 '15 at 5:50
  • Errata corrige: I'm NOT too sure – Mari-Lou A Nov 28 '15 at 6:21

These forms are neither perfect (which always involves have/has/had in English) nor continuous (which always involves the -ing forms of verbs).

They use the so-called past participle, performed, maintained, used; but when used with be/is/are/am/was/were/been this forms the passive.

Edit to address the edit Ele made to the question: on the contrary, your examples are ordinary passives, but he is intoxicated is not: intoxicated is an adjective here. "He is intoxicated" could be a passive, but it would be very odd, because we don't usually use the simple present for a specific activity. ("He is being intoxicated" would be the expected passive form.) Conversely, you cannot transform the sentence to X intoxicates him without changing the meaning; because, as you say, it refers to his state, not to the activity of becoming intoxicated.

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