Passive

When people are learning English grammar, they often feel confused by the passive voice. Let’s keep it simple:

Why do we use the passive voice?

  1. To sound serious/formal
  2. To focus on the object instead of the subject
  3. If we don’t know the subject of the sentence

How do we make passive sentences?

Use object + be + past participle + (by subject).

For example:

Object “Be” Past participle (by subject)
The bike was stolen by somebody

To change the tense, change “be”. Everything else stays the same.

Tense Object “Be” stolen (by subject)
Past simple His bike was stolen (by somebody)
Present continuous His bike is being stolen (by somebody)
Present perfect His bike has been stolen (by somebody)

Compare active and passive sentences

Passives structure

Video lesson on passive sentences 

Passives in English

Exercises:

Change these active sentences into passive sentences.

  1. Slide2Slide3
  2. Slide4
  3. Slide5Slide6

Answers:

  1. The ball was caught by the dog.
  2. The bricks were broken by the man.
  3. The car was pushed by the children.
  4. The baby was thrown by the man.
  5. The man was licked by the dog.
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