Level: beginner

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.

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.

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.

Active and passive voice 1

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Active and passive voice 2

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Active and passive voice 3

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Level: intermediate

The passive infinitive is made up of to be with a past participle:

The doors are going to be locked at ten o'clock.
You shouldn't have done that. You ought to be punished.

We sometimes use the verb get with a past participle to form the passive:

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

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.
Active and passive voice 4

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Active and passive voice 5

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Level: advanced

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

be supposed to be expected to be asked to be told to
be scheduled to be allowed to be invited to be ordered 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.

Active and passive voice 6

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Active and passive voice 7

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Comments

Hello rom162,
This is an example of a sentence with two objects - direct and indirect - and two passive forms are possible. Take a look at this example:
> She gave the ball to John.
We can use the direct object ('the ball') and make a passive sentence like this:
> The ball was given to John (by her).
Or we can use the indirect object ('John'):
> John was given the ball (by her).
~
Your example works the same way:
> Has the doctor given you your letter of discharge?
> Has your letter of discharge been given to you (by the doctor)?
> Have you been given your letter of discharge (by the doctor)?
~
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you for your answer !

n the examples you show none of them is with the present perfect continuous. So, is it incorrect to use the passive voice of the present perfect continuous? Or is it correct but not used?
I can’t find this on any of the books that I have.
I really would like to know. Thanks!

Hello again Aglae
Please see my reply to your comment above. It can take us a day or two to reply and please note that our House Rules (https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/house-rules) prohibit flooding.
It is not incorrect, but we generally avoid it. We don't provide examples of language that we wouldn't recommend people use.
All the best
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

In the examples you show none of them is with the present perfect continuous. So, is it incorrect to use the passive voice of the present perfect continuous? Or is it correct but not used?
I can’t find this on any of the books that I have.
I really would like to know. Thanks!

Hello Aglae
Using a present perfect continuous in the passive voice is grammatically correct, but people often avoid it for reasons of style. This is because, for example, 'The book has been being written' is a little difficult to process (especially 'been being') and so sounds awkward.
All the best
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Mr Kirk,
I've a question about active passive,
There's a sentence written below please let me know if it could be change or not, if not then also give me the reason.

"The man jumped off the step"

Hello Haroon669

'jump off' can have a transitive or intransitive sense. In the example you ask about, it has a transitive sense (with 'step' being the object), so in theory you could say 'The step was jumped off by the man', but it would be very unusual to say that. I would definitely not recommend that you use the passive version of the sentence.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Got it thanks

Thanks, i got it,

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