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. 





Can someone help me know if my answers in this exercise are correct?

1.- We recycle 40 per cent of our paper.
Passive: 40 per cent of our paper is recycled by us.

2.- We select candidates bases on their experience and qualifications.
Passive: Candidates are selected by us based on their experience and qualifications.

3.- In 2000, companies produced 101 million bicycles and 41 million cars worldwide.
Passive: 101 million bicycles and 41 million cars were produced by companies worldwide, in 2000.

4.- The USA grows 40 per cent of al corn.
Passive: 40 per cent of all corn is grown by the USA.

5.- In the 1998, the USA imported $4 billion worth of fruit.
Passive: $4 billion worth of fruit was imported by the USA, In 1998.

6.- In 1993, people spent $2 billion on exercise equipment in the USA.
Passive: $2 billion were spent by people on exercise equipment in the USA, In 1993.

7.- Australian universities enrolled 600,000 students in 2005.
Passive: 600,000 students were enrolled by Australian universities in 2005.

Hi gusanodvr,

I'm afraid we don't provide this kind of service. We're happy to provide help and explanations of our own materials, or to help where we can with more general questions about the language or culture, but we don't check materials from elsewhere. If we tried to do this then we would end up doing our users' tests and homework for them, which is not our role. In any case, we are a small team here and we simply don't have the resources to provide this kind of service.

If the exercise is from a book then a key should be provided. If a teacher gave it to you then the teacher should check it.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir,
May I know if the structure of the following two sentences are acceptable.

1) He was scolded for being late by the teacher yesterday.
2) He was scolded by the teacher for being late.

Is "for being late" considered as an object or purpose?
Thank you.

Hi Amanda,

Both sentences are fine. The position of the phrase for being late is flexible.

The phrase is an example of a prepositional phrase. This is made up of a preposition (for) and an object (being late). Prepositional phrases can have adjectival or adverbial functions in the sentence and in your example it has an adverbial function.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,
Thank you so much.


Dear sir,
Would you mind telling me which of the following sentences you would prefer and why?
(i). I have a lot of work to do.
(ii) I have a lot of work to be done.
Thank you in advance.

Hello Prap,

Neither sentence is incorrect but the first sentence sounds more natural to me. The passive form is more often used with 'there' as the subject. I think these three forms are most likely here:

I have a lot of work to do

There is a lot of work to do

There is a lot of work to be done.



The LearnEnglish Team

The goods have been replaced last night by the grocer.
Weather this sentence is right or wrong?
If it is right then what will be active of the sentence .

Please read whether instead of weather
I Made mistake

Hello Arvind Kumar Singh,

The verb in this sentence should be in the past simple ('were replaced') instead of the present perfect ('have been replaced') since the action took place in a finished past ('last night').

The active voice of the sentence with the past simple would be 'The grocer replaced the goods last night'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team