active and passive voice

 

Transitive verbs have both active and passive forms:

active   passive
The hunter killed the lion. >> The lion was killed by the hunter.
Someone has cleaned the windows >> The windows have been cleaned


The passive forms are made up of the verb be with a past participle:

  be past participle  
English is spoken all over the world
The windows have been cleaned  
Lunch was being served  
The work will be finished soon
They might have been invited to the party


We sometimes use the verb get to form the passive:

Be careful with the glass. It might get broken.
Peter got hurt in a crash.

If we want to show the person or thing doing the action we use by:

She was attacked by a dangerous dog.
The money was stolen by her husband.

We can use the indirect object as the subject of a passive verb:

active   passive
I gave him a book for his birthday >> He was given a book for his birthday.
Someone sent her a cheque for a thousand euros >> She was sent a cheque for a thousand euros.


We can use phrasal verbs in the passive:

active   passive
They called off the meeting. >> The meeting was called off.
His grandmother looked after him. >> He was looked after by his grandmother.
They will send him away to school. >> He will be sent away to school.

Some verbs very frequently used in the passive are followed by the to-infinitive:

be supposed to be expected to be asked to
be scheduled to be allowed to be told to

John has been asked to make a speech at the meeting.
You are supposed to wear a uniform.
The meeting is scheduled to start at seven. 

 

Exercise

Comments

Hello teachers of The Learn English Team,
A lot of new things that I didn't know about ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE.
The use of the indirect object as the subject of a passive verb is a little confuse for me but I think with practice I could improve it.
I want to know if It is common to use get to form the passive in english conversations and if It is understanable for everyone? or Would you prefer to use the verb be for passive voice?

Hello Jeraldine_molleda,

The passive is less common in speaking than in writing, and is more common in formal contexts than informal ones. However, the passive is used in even informal conversation when appropriate, as you'll hear when you listen to some of the listening materials on LearnEnglish.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Can we write he will be sent away to school by them if we convert the sentence they will send him away to school into passive voice. Can we write the windows have been cleaned by someone if we covert someone has cleaned the windows into passive. Can we write coffee is grown jn kenya by them if we convert they grow coffee in kenya into passive

I didn't know the answer of 2 and 9 can you please explain the meanings

Thanks

Hello hudamh80,

To see the answers you can click the 'Finish' button.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

we would be left with no money after giving the rent.
or
we would left with no money after giving the money.

which 1 is correct and why?
and how it is passive sentence?
plz explain

Hello tagrapankaj,

The first sentence is correct. It is a passive form: be [would be] + past participle [left]. We can use a passive form as both the object of 'leave' and the subject is us - it is an action we are doing to ourselves. We can see this more clearly if we use a reflexive form:

We would leave ourselves with no money after...

We would be left (by ourselves) with no money after...

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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