PASSIVE VOICE

Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.

  • My bike was stolen.

In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.

Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:

  • A mistake was made.

In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.).

Form of Passive = BE +V3 (Past Participle)

Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle

 

Examples of Passive

 

simple present It is washed.
past It was washed.
future It will be washed.
conditional It would be washed.
continuous present It is being washed.
past It was being washed.
perfect simple present It has been washed.
past It had been washed.
Modals can It can be washed.
could It could be washed.
may It may be washed.
might It might be washed.
must It must be washed.
Have to It has to be washed.
should It should be washed.

 

 

A. Make passive sentences using the verb tenses given.
1. the picture / draw (Simple Present)
_____________________________________________________________________
2. the door / close (Simple Past)
_____________________________________________________________________
3. the house / steal (Present Continuous)
_____________________________________________________________________
4. the bike / repair (Past Continuous)
_____________________________________________________________________
5. the room/ clean (Present Perfect)
_____________________________________________________________________
6. the homework / do (Past perfect)
_____________________________________________________________________
7. the window / break (Simple future)
_____________________________________________________________________

B. Rewrite the following sentences as passive.
1. The boy writes poems.
_____________________________________________________________________
2. The girl drove the blue car.
_____________________________________________________________________
3. They have collected enough money.
_____________________________________________________________________
4. They will open a new restaurant.
_____________________________________________________________________
5. They will not play soccer.
_____________________________________________________________________

C. Active or passive in Simple Past Tense.
1. They _____________(visit) their granny.
2. We _____________(visit) by our teacher.
3. My friend Paul _____________(bear) in Dallas.
4. She _____________(go) to school in Boston.
5. Antony _____________(grow up) in the country.
6. The new shopping center _____________( (build) last year.
7. The film _____________(produce / not) in Hollywood.
8. Barbara _____________(know) James very well.
9. The jewels _____________(hide / not) in the cellar.
10. We _____________(spend / not) all day on the beach.

D. Active or passive in Present Perfect.
1. The car _____________ (steal) .
2. I_____________ (bake) a cake.
3. My friends _____________ (buy) a house.
4. The cup_____________ (put) on the table.
5. Trees _____________ (plant) in the street.
6. The boy_____________ (fall / not) off his bike.
7. I _____________ (bite / not) by a snake.
8. He_____________ (step) on my toe.
9. We_____________ (walk) all the way home.
10. She _____________ (pick up / not) by a friend.

E. Active or passive in future “will”
1. The house _____________ (build) here.
2. You _____________ (send) home.
3. I _____________ (eat) an ice-cream.
4. We _____________ (go) home now.
5. I _____________ (help) you.
6. The match _____________ (win / not) by our team.
7. The weather_____________ (improve / not) tomorrow.
8. The trees_____________ (cut) down.
9. The meeting _____________ (cancel / not).
10. They _____________ (do / not) that again.

F. Active or Passive in Simple Present and Simple Past.
Portal dolmens 1_____________ (be) ancient tombs. They 2_____________ (build) about 6000 years ago. In order to build such a tomb, ancient people 3_____________ (put) up big stones. These standing stones then 4_____________ (form) the walls. Another huge stone, the cap stone, 5_____________ (place) on top of the other stones. Finally, the tomb 6_____________ (have) the form of a little chamber. In that chamber, the dead person 7_____________ (bury). Then the entrance to the tomb 8_____________ (close) with another stone. Nowadays, portal dolmens 9_____________ (see) in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. They 10_____________ (call) portal dolmens because they 11___________ (look) like a huge doorway (or portal).

G. Choose the best one to complete the blanks
1. They were interviewing her for the job.
She ________________ for the job.
a. was being interviewed
b. was interviewed
c. has been interviewed

2. Tom is writing the letter.
The letter ________________ by Tom.
a. was written
b. is being written
c. has been written
3. Everyone understands English.
English ________________ by everyone.
a. is understood
b. has been understood
c. was understood
4. The employees brought up this issue during the meeting.
This issue ________________ by the employees during the meeting.
a. has been brought up
b. is brought up
c. was brought up
5. The professor told him not to talk in class.
He ________________ by the professor not to talk in class.
a. has been told
b. was told
c. was being told
6. They say that women are smarter than men.
Women ________________ to be smarter than men.
a. were being said
b. were said
c. are said
7. The fire has destroyed the house.
The house ________________ by the fire.
a. has been destroyed
b. was being destroyed
c. is destroyed
8. She would tell you.
You ________________ by her.
a. would have been told
b. would be told
c. were being told
9. She will reject the offer.
The offer ________________ by her.
a. will have been rejected
b. would be rejected
c. will be rejected
H. Use the verbs in bracket in the correct form to complete the blanks.
1. When we got home, we realized that our house_________________ . (burgle)
2. America_________________ by Christopher Columbus. (discover)
3. Newspapers in some countries _________________in kiosks as well as shops. (sell)
4. All the money _____________. (already spend)
6. England_________________ by France in yesterday’s rugby international. (beat)
7. What language_________________ in Estonia? – Estonian. (speak)
8. Several trees_________________ by lightning in the last night’s storm. (strike)

I. Rewrite the sentences in Passive

1. We haven’t cleaned the house for weeks.
____________________________________________________________ for weeks.
2. They are going to open a new supermarket next week.
____________________________________________________________ next week.
3. They couldn’t use the car because the garage was servicing it.
____________________________________________________________ because .
4. Will they publish her new book next month?
____________________________________________________________ next month?
5. Someone has just found her.
____________________________________________________________
6. They will close the factory.
____________________________________________________________
7. They discuss important subjects at lunchtime every day.
____________________________________________________________ at lunchtime every day.
8. They are still considering this matter.
____________________________________________________________
9. They were making every effort to end the strike.
____________________________________________________________ to end the strike.
10. You will clean the house.
____________________________________________________________
11. Somebody told him about that yesterday.
____________________________________________________________ about that yesterday.
12. When did he make this mistake?
____________________________________________________________?
13. How often do your teachers ask you?
____________________________________________________________?


ANSWERS

A. Make passive sentences using the verb tenses given.
1. the picture / draw (Simple Present)
The picture is drawn
2. the door / close (Simple Past)
The door was closed
3. the house / steal (Present Continuous)
The house is being stolen.
4. the bike / repair (Past Continuous)
The bike was being repaired.
5. the room/ clean (Present Perfect)
The room has been cleaned
6. the homework / do (Past perfect)
The homework had been done.
7. the window / break (Simple future)
The window will be broken. The windows are going to be broken.

B. Rewrite the following sentences as passive.
1. The boy writes poems.
The poems are written by the boy.
2. The girl drove the blue car.
The blue car was driven by the girl.
3. They have collected enough money.
Enough money was collected by them
4. They will open a new restaurant.
A new restaurant will be opened by them.
5. They will not play soccer.
Soccer will not be played by them.

C. Active or passive in Simple Past Tense.
1. They _visited__(visit) their granny.
2. We __were visited__(visit) by our teacher.
3. My friend Paul __was born__(bear) in Dallas.
4. She _went___(go) to school in Boston.
5. Antony _grew up__(grow up) in the country.
6. The new shopping centre __was built__(build) last year.
7. The film ___was not produced___(produce / not) in Hollywood.
8. Barbara ___knew__(know) James very well.
9. The jewels __were not hidden____(hide / not) in the cellar.
10. We ___didn’t spend__(spend / not) all day on the beach.

D. Active or passive in Present Perfect.
1. The car ___has been stolen___ (steal) .
2. I___have baked_ (bake) a cake.
3. My friends _have__bought__ (buy) a house.
4. The cup___has been put__ (put) on the table.
5. Trees __have been planted__ (plant) in the street.
6. The boy__hasn’t fallen___ (fall / not) off his bike.
7. I ___haven’t been biten___ (bite / not) by a snake.
8. He___has stepped_ (step) on my toe.
9. We___have walked__ (walk) all the way home.
10. She _hasn’t been picked up_ (pick up / not) by a friend.

E. Active or passive in future “will”
1. The house __will be built__ (build) here.
2. You ___will be sent_ (send) home.
3. I __will eat___ (eat) an ice-cream.
4. We ___will go__ (go) home now.
5. I __will help__ (help) you.
6. The match ___will not be won___ (win / not) by our team.
7. The weather_will not improve___ (improve / not) tomorrow.
8. The trees____will be cut _ (cut) down.
9. The meeting __won’t be canceled__ (cancel / not) .
10. They ____will not___ (do / not) that again.

F. Active or Passive in Simple Present and Simple Past.
Portal dolmens ___was___ (be) ancient tombs. They____were built_ (build) about 6000 years ago. In order to build such a tomb, ancient people __put up__ (put) up big stones. These standing stones then __formed_ (form) the walls. Another huge stone, the cap stone, _was placed__ (place) on top of the other stones. Finally, the tomb ___had_ (have) the form of a little chamber. In that chamber, the dead person __was buried___ (bury) . Then the entrance to the tomb __was closed__ (close) with another stone. Nowadays, portal dolmens___are seen__ (see ) in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. They__are called_ (call) portal dolmens because they look (look) like a huge doorway (or portal).

G. Choose the best one to complete the blanks
1. They were interviewing her for the job.
She ________________ for the job.
a. was being interviewed
b. was interviewed
c. has been interviewed

2. Tom is writing the letter.
The letter ________________ by Tom.
a. was written
b. is being written
c. has been written
3. Everyone understands English.
English ________________ by everyone.
a. is understood
b. has been understood
c. was understood
4. The employees brought up this issue during the meeting.
This issue ________________ by the employees during the meeting.
a. has been brought up
b. is brought up
c. was brought up
5. The professor told him not to talk in class.
He ________________ by the professor not to talk in class.
a. has been told
b. was told
c. was being told
6. They say that women are smarter than men.
Women ________________ to be smarter than men.
a. were being said
b. were said
c. are said
7. The fire has destroyed the house.
The house ________________ by the fire.
a. has been destroyed
b. was being destroyed
c. is destroyed
8. She would tell you.
You ________________ by her.
a. would have been told
b. would be told
c. were being told
9. She will reject the offer.
The offer ________________ by her.
a. will have been rejected
b. would be rejected
c. will be rejected

H. Use the verbs in bracket in the correct form to complete the blanks.
1. When we got home, we realized that our house___had been burgled_ . (burgle)
2. America___ was discovered___ by Christopher Columbus. (discover)
3. Newspapers in some countries __are sold____in kiosks as well as shops. (sell)
4. All the money ___has already been spent__. (already spend)
6. England____was beaten __ by France in yesterday’s rugby international. (beat)
7. What language__is spoken__ in Estonia? – Estonian. (speak)
8. Several trees___were struck___ by lightning in the last night’s storm. (strike)

I. Rewrite the sentences in Passive

1. We haven’t cleaned the house for weeks.
________The house hasn’t been cleaned ________ for weeks.
2. They are going to open a new supermarket next week.
___________A new supermarket is going to be opened_____ next week.
3. They couldn’t use the car because the garage was servicing it.
_____________The car couldn’t be used____ because …..
4. Will they publish her new book next month?
_______Will her new book be published ______ next month?
5. Someone has just found her.
_______She has been found__________
6. They will close the factory.
_________The factory will be closed by them______
7. They discuss important subjects at lunchtime every day.
_________Important subjects are discussed_______ at lunchtime every day.
8. They are still considering this matter.
______This matte is still being considered____________
9. They were making every effort to end the strike.
_________Every effort was being done to end the strike.
10. You will clean the house.
________The house will be cleaned___________
11. Somebody told him about that yesterday.
_________He was told_________ about that yesterday.
12. When did he make this mistake?
_______When was this mistake made by him________?
13. How often do your teachers ask you?
_______How often are you asked by your teacher_____?

 

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