Passive Voice

Forming Passives

Object + A Form of 'Be' + V3

The letters were delivered.

Classic Style Exercises:
Passive Voice Exercises

Multiple Choice Exercises:
Passive / Causative Quizzes

Also See:
Active / Passive Examples
Stative Passive Verbs List
It is said that / He is said to
Passives Tenses Chart (Below)

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 wrote many novels.
Passive: Many novels were 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 beinginterrogated.
Present Perfect PassiveThe roomhas beencleaned.
Past Perfect PassiveThe windowhad beenbroken.
Passives With ModalsAll the rulesmust beobeyed.

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