Passive Voice

We use passive voice in three situations:

1. When we wish to stress on the object receiving the action.
2. When we do not know who performed an action.
3. When the subject performing the action is not important or not necessary in the sentence.

To form a sentence in passive voice, we need to:

1. Bring the object to the front of the sentence. In other words, we make the object the new subject of the sentence.
2. Add the verb “to be” after the object.
3. Add the past participle of the verb after the verb “to be.”

Construction for a sentence in passive voice will be:

[Object + verb “to be” + past participle of the main verb of the sentence]

In Passive voice, the performer of an action can be introduced using the preposition “by.”

Let’s see how passive voice is formed in different tenses:

 

Simple Present:

[Object + am/is/are + past participle]

A sentence in active voice:

He makes these shoes for the company.

To form passive voice, we’ll:

1. Bring the object “shoes” to the front, making it the subject.
2. Add the verb “am/is/are” after the object “shoes.” In this case, we use “are” as the object is third person plural.
3. Add the past participle of the verb “make” after the verb “are.” The past participle of the verb “make” is “made.”

So, the above sentence in active voice will become the following in passive voice:

These shoes are made by him for the company.

Active voice: People occupy seats as soon as they get in a bus.
Passive voice: Seats are occupied by people as soon as they get in a bus.

Present Continuous:

[Object + am/is/are + being + past participle]

Examples:

Active voice: I am writing a book
Passive voice: A book is being written by me.

Active voice: Sophie is stitching your clothes.
Passive voice: Your clothes are being stitched by Sophie.

Present Perfect:

[Object + have/has + been + past participle]

Examples:

Active voice: I have sent the letter.
Passive voice: The letter has been sent.

Active voice: Madalyn has sold two computers today.
Passive voice: Two computers have been sold by Madalyn today.

Present Perfect Continuous:

[Object + have/has + been + being + past participle]

Examples:

Active voice: The Prime Minister has been discussing this plan with many countries.
Passive voice: This plan has been being discussed with many countries by the Prime Minister.

Active voice: The agency has been processing visas for over a decade.
Passive voice: Visas have been being processed by the agency for over a decade.

Simple Past:

[Object + was/were + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: Teresa suggested this plan yesterday.
Passive Voice: This plan was suggested by Teresa yesterday.

Active Voice: The President addressed many concerns in his speech.
Passive Voice: Many concerns were addressed by the President in his speech.

Past Continuous:

[Object + was/were + being + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: He was driving the car.
Passive Voice: The car was being driven by him.

Active Voice: They were cooking dinner.
Passive Voice: Dinner was being cooked by them.

Past Perfect:

[Object + had + been + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: I had already informed him of the meeting.
Passive Voice: He had already been informed of the meeting (by me).

Active Voice: She had submitted the documents before leaving for the day.
Passive Voice: The documents had been submitted by her before leaving for the day.

Past Perfect Continuous:

[Object + had + been + being + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: They had been calling his number for an hour before it was answered.
Passive Voice: His number had been being called for an hour before it was answered.

Active Voice: Rita had been using the phone for 6 months when she sold it.
Passive Voice: The phone had been being used by Rita for 6 months when she sold it.

Simple Future:

[Object + will + be + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: Robin will pay the bill.
Passive Voice: The bill will be paid by Robin.

Active Voice: Simon will tell jokes next.
Passive Voice: Jokes will be told by Simon next.

Future Continuous:

[Object + will + be + being + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: My wife will be keeping them company till I reach home.
Passive Voice: They will be being kept company by my wife till I reach home.

Active Voice: My colleagues will be finishing the rest of the project.
Passive Voice: The rest of the project will be being finished by my colleagues.

Future Perfect:

[Object + will + have + been + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: They will have started the show by the time we enter the theater.
Passive Voice: The show will have been started by the time we enter the theater.

Active Voice: Levi will have created and sold the company on June 10.
Passive Voice: The company will have been created and sold by Levi on June 10.

Future Perfect Continuous:

[Object + will + have + been + being + past participle]

Examples:

Active Voice: She will have been reading Marvel comics for 8 hours by 6 pm.
Passive Voice: Marvel comics will have been being read by her for 8 hours by 6 pm.

Active Voice: The organization will have been changing lives for 25 years next summer.
Passive Voice: Lives will have been being changed by the organization for 25 years next summer.