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Using the Passive

Voice

Using the Passive Voice


Definitions
Changing to the passive voice
Table of English Tenses in Passive

Active voice vs. passive


voice
Active voice takes the form A does B

We chose plastic film to cover the


microphone.
Passive voice takes the form B is done (by A)

Plastic film was chosen (by us) to cover


the microphone.

Active voice subjects perform


an act
Active voice
We ... chose ... plastic film to cover the
microphone.

Subject

Verb

Object

Passive voice subjects are


acted on
Active voice
We ... chose ... plastic film to cover the
microphone.

Subject

Verb

Object

Passive voice
Plastic film was chosen to cover the microphone.

Subject

Verb

Object

Passive voice differs from 3rd


person
Third person, but active voice
The team ... chose ... plastic film to cover the
microphone.
Subject

Verb

Object

Passive voice
Plastic film was chosen to cover the microphone.

Subject

Verb

Object

When would you want to use


passive voice?
When intentionally trying to hide the subject of the sentence.
For example, a politician might say, The mistake was made (by
someone). Hiding the subject helps him/her hide the blame.
When intentionally trying to minimize the guilt of the subject.
For example, a cheating boy might say, Cheating was
committed by me.
When passive voice better emphasizes the main point of the
message, such as Children were harmed by the drunk driver.

Using the Passive Voice


Definitions
Changing to the passive voice
Table of English tenses in Passive

Combine to be + past
participle
To be is very irregular:
Present tense

Past tense

1st
person

I am

We are

I was

2nd
person

You are

You are You were

We were
You were

Past
usually
add -ed
oritt: They
3rd participles
He, she,
it They
He, she,
presented,
burnt
person
ismeasured,
arebuilt, was
were
Irregular past participles must be memorized

Omit the agent of the


action
Active
Workers installed burglar alarms.
Passive, with agent
Burglar alarms were installed by the workers.
Passive, with the agent omitted
Burglar alarms were installed.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Remember tense and


number
Active Voice

Passive voice

I finish a project in
eight hours.

A project is finished in
eight hours.

I finish three projects


in eight hours

Three projects are finished


in eight hours

I finished a project in
eight hours.

A project was finished in


eight hours.

I finished three
Three projects were
projects in eight hours. finished in eight hours.

Using the Passive Voice


Definitions
Changing to the passive voice
Table of English tenses in passive

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE

Simple Present Tense


Active: S + V(s/es) + O

Passive: S + am/is/are + PP +
by + O
EX: He reads books every day.
Books are read (by him) every day.

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE

Present Continuous Tense

Active: S + am/is/are + V-ing + O


Passive: S + am/is/are + being +PP + by +
O

EX: He is writing a novel at the


moment.
A novel is being written (by him) at the
moment.

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE

Present Perfect Tense

Active: S + Has/Have + V3ed + O


Passive: S + has/have + been +PP +
by + O

EX: He has just finished a novel.


A novel has just been finished
(by him).

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE
Simple Past Tense
Active: S + V2ed + O
Passive: S + was/were + PP + by + O

EX: He gave Tom a book.


A book was given to Tom (by him).
Tom was given a book (by him).

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE
Past Continuous
Tense
Active: S + was/were + V-ing + O
Passive: S + was/were + being + PP + by
+O

EX: He was writing a letter at 8.00


yesterday.
A letter was being written (by him).

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE
Past Perfect Tense
Active: S + had + V3ed + O
Passive: S + had + been + PP + by
+O
EX: He had finished his homework
before 8.00 yesterday.
His homework had been finished (by
him) before 8.00 yesterday.

TABLE OF ENGLISH
TENSES IN PASSIVE
VOICE
Simple Future Tense
Active: S + will/shall + V + O
Passive: S + will/shall + be + PP + by
+O

EX: He will finish the homework.


The homework will be finished.

MODAL VERBS (MV) IN


PASSIVE VOICE

Modal Verbs can be used in either


the present or past forms.
Active: S + MV + V + O

Passive: S + MV + be + PP + by + O
EX: We can solve this problem.

This problem can be solved.