Passive Voice Grammar

Passive Formation

Object + A Form of 'Be' + V3

The letters were delivered.

Also See:

Stative Passive Verbs List
It is said that / He is said to


Passive Voice Exercises

Use of Passive Voice

  • When you don't know the person who performed the action.

        The bank was robbed.

  • When it is not important who performed the action.

         Harvard University was founded in 1636.

  • When the performer is not a specific person.

        English is spoken in many countries around the world.

  • When you prefer not to mention the name of the performer.

        I was told that you didn't go to work today.

  • Used with a performer: by + performer

        The cake was made by my cousin.


In a passive sentence, If we want to mention what caused or who did the action, we use the agent (by...........)

Active: Charles Dickens writes novels.
Passive: A novel is written by Charles Dickens.

Passive Voice Tenses Chart

FORMObject A form of 'Be' Past Participle
Simple Present PassiveThe doorisclosed
Simple Past PassiveJurassic Parkwas directed by Steven Spielberg
Will Future Passive

Going to Future Passive
An English book

A gift
will be

is going to be
given to passing students.

given to the best student.
Present Continuous PassiveThe suspectis beingpursued.
Past Continuous PassiveHewas beingtortured.
Present Perfect PassiveThe roomhas beencleaned.
Past Perfect PassiveThe windowhad beenbroken.
Passives With ModalsAll the rulesmust beobeyed.

<-- Go to the top of the page -->
ESL Challenge
Grammar and Vocab Challenge

Winners Cup Learn while challenging others
Get listed on the leaderboard
Get e-books/mobile apps
Grammar Challenge
ESL Quiz Apps
GrammarBank Mobile Quizzes

Mobile TabletsESL Vocabulary and Grammar
Apps for mobile and tablets
Learn on the go!
Beginners Grammar Quiz App