SIMPLE PRESENT | SIMPLE PAST

Simple Present

Let’s start with an example to make it easier to understand…

ACTIVE VOICE

Max cleans the room every day.

In this example, we focus on the "performer" of the action (Max) and the "object" of the action is "the room".

If we want to focus on the object of that action and not the performer, we use the Passive Voice.

PASSIVE VOICE

The room is cleaned every day by Max.

Remember that the performer of the action is unimportant but if you want to name him, use the preposition "-by". The Noun that follows -by is called "the agent".

Examples

Active - She opens the door.

Passive - The door is opened.

Active - Tim walks the dog.

Passive - The dog is walked by Tim.

Active - We eat pizza every Friday.

Passive - Pizza is eaten every Friday.

Structure

Subject + be (is - are - am) + Past Participle (regular/irregular) + rest of the sentence.

Remember that the form of the "Verb To Be" depends on the subject. The Past Participle often ends in "-ed" but there are "Irregular Verbs" too (you have to check the Irregular Verbs List).

Take into account that the verbs are always conjugated in the Participle Form when we use the Passive voice. If you want to name the agent of the action, use "-by".

If you want to make negative sentences, just use the negative form of the "Verb To Be" (isn’t - aren’t - am not).

In case you want to use interrogative sentences, remember that the "Verb To Be" goes before the subject. The main verb is always conjugated in the Past Participle form.

Simple Past

We follow the same rules as in the Passive Voice in Simple Present but we must use the Past form of the "Verb To Be".

Structure

Subject + was/were + Past Participle (regular/irregular) + rest of the sentence.

Remember that the use of "was" and "were" depends on the subject. To make negative sentences, just use the negative form of the "Verb To Be" in the "Simple Past", "wasn’t" or "weren’t".

In the Interrogative form, remember that the "Verb To Be" goes before the subject. The main verb is always conjugated in Past Participle.

Examples

Active - I didn't buy the bike.

Passive - The bike wasn’t bought.

Active - My sister broke the doll.

Passive - The doll was broken by my sister.

Active - That car crashed into the store.

Passive - The store was crashed by that car.

Active - Did you wash the dishes?

Passive - Were the dishes washed?

INFINITIVE | PERFECT INFINITIVE

Infinitive

The infinitive Passive Voice is used after "Modal Verbs" and other verbs generally followed by an infinitive. We refer to words like "must", "can", "could", "will", "going to", "have to", "want to", "may", "might", "expect to", "should", "would", etc.

In the Passive Voice, after this kind of words, you must use "be" and the "Past Participle" form of the main verb. The Past Participle often ends in "-ed" but there are "Irregular Verbs" too (you have to check the Irregular verbs List).

Remember that the performer of the action is unimportant but if you want to name him, use the preposition "-by". The Noun that follows -by is called "the agent".

Structure

(to) be + Past Participle form of the Verb + the rest of the sentence.

Examples

Active - They are going to build a new mall.

Passive - A new mall is going to be built.

Active - People should study Science.

Passive - Science should be studied.

Active - The team can play football today.

Passive - Football can be played today.

Perfect Infinitive

We follow the same rules as in the Infinitive mentioned above but we must use "have been" and the "Past Participle" form of the main verb.

Structure

(to) have been + Past Participle form of the Verb + the rest of the sentence.

Examples

Active - They should have prepared dinner.

Passive - Dinner should have been prepared.

Active - I would have closed the door.

Passive - The door would have been closed.

Active - They seem to have solved their problems.

Passive - Their problems seem to have been solved.

PRESENT PERFECT | PAST PERFECT

Present Perfect

Let’s start with an example to make it easier to understand…

ACTIVE VOICE

Somebody has painted the wall.

In this example, the performer of the action is unimportant (somebody) and the "object" of the action is "the wall".

PASSIVE VOICE

If we want to focus on the object of that action and not the performer, we use the Passive Voice.

The wall has been painted.

Remember that the performer of the action is unimportant but if you want to name him, use the preposition "-by".

Structure

Subject + have/has been + Past Participle form of the Verb + the rest of the sentence.

Remember that the use of "have" or "has" depends on the subject. The Past Participle often ends in "-ed" but there are "Irregular Verbs" too (you have to check the Irregular verbs List).

If you want to make negative sentences, just use "haven’t" or "hasn’t". To make interrogative sentences, take into account that "have" and "has" go before the subject. The main Verb is always conjugated into the "Past Participle" form.

Examples

Active - He has cleaned the windows.

Passive - The windows have been cleaned.

Active - I haven’t finished my homework yet.

Passive - My homework hasn’t been finished yet.

Active - Have you ever visited Egypt?

Passive - Has Egypt ever been visited by you?

Past Perfect

We follow the same rules as in the Passive Voice in Present Perfect but we must use "had".

Structure

Subject + had been + past participle form of the verb + the rest of the sentence.

If you want to make negative sentences, use "hadn’t". The rest of the sentence remains the same. To make interrogative sentences, remember that "had" goes before the subject. The main verb is always conjugated into the "Past Participle" form.

Examples

Active - Someone had cooked the vegetables too long.

Passive - The vegetables had been cooked too long.

Active - They hadn’t used that car for ages.

Passive - The car hadn’t been used for ages.

Active - Had Rick played tennis before?

Passive - Had tennis been played by Rick before?

PRESENT CONTINUOUS | PAST CONTINUOUS

Present Continuous

Let’s start with an example to make it easier to understand…

ACTIVE VOICE

Somebody is cleaning the room.

In this example, the performer of the action is unimportant (somebody) and the "object" of the action is "the room".

PASSIVE VOICE

If we want to focus on the object of that action and not the performer, we use the Passive Voice.

The room is being cleaned.

Remember that the performer of the action is unimportant but if you want to name him, use the preposition "-by".

Structure

Subject + be (is-are-am) + being + Past Participle form of the Verb + the rest of the sentence.

Take into account that the use of the "Verb To Be" (is - are - am) depends on the subject. If you want to make negative sentences just use the negative form of the "Verb To Be" (isn’t - aren’t - am not).

To make interrogative sentences, remember that the "Verb To Be" goes before the subject. The rest of the structure remains the same and the main verb of the sentence is always conjugated into the "Past Participle".

Examples

Active - The kids are making pizza.

Passive - Pizza is being made by the kids.

Active - They aren’t painting the room.

Passive - The room isn’t being painted.

Active - Our dog is eating the bone right now

Passive - The bone is being eaten by our dog right now.

Active - Is he building a new house?

Passive - Is a new house being built?

Past Continuous

We follow the same rules as in the Passive Voice in Present Continuous but we must use the past form of the "Verb To Be".

Structure

Subject + be (was - were) + being + Past Participle form of the Verb + the rest of the sentence.

Remember that the use of "was" and "were" depends on the subject. If you want to make negative sentences just use the negative form of the "Verb To Be" in Simple Past (wasn't or weren’t). To make interrogative sentences, remember that the "Verb To Be" goes before the subject.

The rest of the structure remains the same and the main verb of the sentence is always conjugated into the "Past Participle".

Examples

Active - They were following the route.

Passive - The route was being followed.

Active - The girl wasn’t listening to music.

Passive - Music wasn’t being listened to by the girl.

Active - Were the kids watching TV when you arrived?

Passive - Was TV being watched by the kids when you arrived?

TWO OBJECTS | MORE INTERESTING FACTS

Verbs With Two Objects

Some Verbs like "give", "ask", "offer", "pay", "show", "teach", "promise" and "tell" can have two objects, for example…

Active - My father gave me this book.

In this example, there are two objects, "me" and "the book" so it is possible to make two Passive sentences but take into account that we generally begin with the person.

Passive - I was given this book by my father.

Passive - This book was given to me by my father.

Examples

Active - Someone promised me a new job.

Passive - I was promised a new job.

Passive - A new job was promised to me.

Active - They will give Bob plenty of time.

Passive - Bob will be given plenty of time.

Passive - Plenty of time will be given to Bob.

I Don’t Like Being…

The Passive of Verbs like "doing", "seeing", "taking", "keeping", etc is "being done", "being seen", "being taken", "being kept", etc.

Examples

Active - I remember my mum taking me to the zoo.

Passive - I remember being taken to the zoo by my mum.

Active - We left the room without anybody seeing us.

Passive - We left the room without being seen.

Active - I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Passive - I don’t like being told what to do.

Get

You can use "get" for the Passive, for example…

Nobody got hurt in the accident.

Nobody was hurt in the accident.

You can use "get" only when things happen and not in sentences like these…

Very little was known about Kim (not got known).

Pizza is liked by everybody (not gets liked).

We generally use "get" in informal spoken English.

Examples

I got my hair cut.

I am having my house painted.

My brother had his car stolen yesterday.

1. We use the Passive Voice when we want to focus on the object of the action.

2. To say who or what performs the action in the Passive Voice, we use…

3. Max is fixing his car.

4. The book was written many years ago.

5. I bought a bike last week.
Choose the Passive Voice:

6. Pam has studied Maths today.
Choose the Passive Voice:

7. The main verb is always in the Past Participle form when we use the Passive Voice.

8. The "agent" is the subject of the sentence in the Passive Voice.

9. They are following us.

10. We are being followed.

11. The room has been cleaned.
Choose the Active Voice:

12. How is this word used?
Choose the Active Voice:

13. Some verbs can have two objects.

14. Something must be done.

15. She doesn’t play the piano.
Choose the Passive Voice: