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PASSIVE VOICE

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

We use a
say what
subject

passive verb to
happens to the

This house is quite old. It was built in


1930
Two hundred people are employed by
the company

We use the passive, who or what


causes the action is often unknown
or unimportant:

A lot of money was stolen in the


robbery. (smb. stole it but we dont
know)
Is this room cleaned every day?
(does smb clean it? its not
important who)

If we want to say who does or what


causes the action, we use by:

This house was built by my


grandfather
Two hundred people are employed
by the company.

IN THIS PART WE WILL SEE


THE USAGE OF ACTIVE AND
PASSIVE VOICE IN DIFFERENT
TENSES

ACTIVE:
The doctor wrote a prescription.
PASSIVE
The prescription was written by the doctor.

NOTE: In the passive, the object of the


active verb becomes the subject.

To make the passive, use the


appropriate form of the verb to be +
past participle. Only transitive verbs
are used in the passive:

ACTIVE: Fred helps Jane.


PASSIVE: Jane is helped by Fred.
ACTIVE: He is helping her.
PASSIVE: She is being helped by him.

ACTIVE: Fred helps Jane.


PASSIVE: Jane is helped by Fred.
ACTIVE: He is helping her.
PASSIVE: She is being helped by him.
ACTIVE: He has helped her.
PASSIVE: She has been helped by him.

ACTIVE: He helped her.


PASSIVE: She was helped by him.
ACTIVE: He was helping her.
PASSIVE: She was being helped by him.
ACTIVE: He had helped her.
PASSIVE: She had been helped by him.

ACTIVE: He will help her.


PASSIVE: She will be helped by him.
ACTIVE: He is going to help her.
PASSIVE: She is going to be helped by him.
Usually the by phrase is omitted in a passive
sentence. The passive is used mainly when it is
not known or not important to know who was
responsible for the action:
--The house was built in 1960.
(The by phrase is left out because it is understood
that builders
built the house).

THE PASSIVE TENSES


Passive Tenses

Simple
Present

Present
Progressive

Simple
Past

Past
Progressive

Futur
e

Present
Perfect

Past Perfect

Future
Perfect

Modals

Simple present
active:

passive:

The company ships


Computers are
the computers to many shipped to many
foreign countries.
foreign countries.

Present Progressive
active:

passive:

The chef is preparing


the food.

The food is being


prepared.

Simple Past
active:

passive:

The delivery man


delivered the
package yesterday.

The package was


delivered yesterday.

Past Progressive
active:

passive:

The producer was


making an
announcement.

An announcement
was being made.

Future
active:

passive:

Our representative
The computer will
will pick up the
be picked up.
computer.

Present Perfect
active:

passive:

Someone has made


the arrangements
for us.

The arrangements
have been made for
us.

Past Perfect
active:

passive:

They had given us We had been given


visas for three
visas for three
months.
months.

Future perfect
active:

By next month we
will have finished
this job.

passive:
By next month this
job will have been
finished.

Modals
active:

passive:

You can use the


computer.

The computer can


be used.