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  
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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. 




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

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

mail has been sent..
can i write it as
mail is sent..
if both are not same what is the difference ? plz also give example with explanation .

Hello tagrapankaj,

There are two forms here which have different uses.

  1. 'Mail has been sent' is an example of a present perfect passive construction [have/has been + past participle].
  2. 'Mail is sent' is an example of a present simple passive construction [am/is/are + past participle].

Present perfect forms, whether active or passive, are used to show that an event or state in the past has some connection to the present: either that it continues into the present or that it has a result of some kind in the present. The first sentence here tells us that the mail is on its way (a present result of the past action of sending it). You can find out more about perfective forms here

Present simple forms, whether active or passive, are used to show that an event or state is true in general, or something which happens again and again, or something which is permanently true. Your example tells us that someone sends mail regularly as part of a normal routine, and not just one time. You can find out more about the present simple here.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

I notice that you have posted a number of versions of this question. Please remember that we are a small team here at LearnEnglish and have many questions to answer every day, as well as dealing with other matters related to running and expanding the site. Posting multiple versions of the same question only slows down the process. Please be patient and we will answer your question as soon as we can.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Please explain:

Why there is no passive for Present/Past/Future Perfect Progressive Tenses?

And please tell me, how can we make passive from perfect progressive tenses?

How can i convert this active into passive:

The company has been associating itself with me for the last 5 years.

Hello Ranjeetibs,

I'm afraid we are only a small team at LearnEnglish and we don't have time to answer lots of questions. Please only ask one question at a time.

Have you seen our Verb Machine? It will answer your first question about the perfect progressive passive form.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team


I am bit confused about active voice and passive voice. I will take example from here. i gave him a book for his birthday this is Active voice. He was given a book for his birthday this this is passive voie. what I am undrstand from this passive voice, that book was given to him by his self. is it correct or worng? please correct me.

Hello keyansugan81,

No, that is not quite correct. The sentence "He was given a book for his birthday" does not specify who gave the book to the person whose birthday it was. It might be that the giver of the gift is unknown, or it might be that the person who wrote that sentence didn't think it was important to mention who the giver was.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,
can you kindly explain the passive voice of Present perfect and past perfect with some examples ......... it is damn confusing....... its a mess........ :(

Hello waqar un Ansa,

As is explained above, the passive is formed of the verb be (which can be one or more words, and in the case of the present perfect and past perfect is two words, e.g. has/have been or had been) plus a past participle.

Why don't you write two or three sentences and ask us to correct them?

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team