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. 

 

Exercise

Comments

Hello english_learner456,
 
To understand this, we need to correctly identify the two objects in the sentence. Take a look at the examples in the summary:
 
I gave him a book for his birthday
 
The direct object here is what was given - a book
The indirect object is the person to whom it was given - him
We can make two passive sentences from this.
1) using the direct object as the subject:
A book was given to him for his birthday (by me).
2) using the indirect object as the subject:
He was given a book for his birthday.
 
Now you have a go: try to make two sentences from the other example, one with the direct and one with the indirect object as the subject:
 
Someone sent her a cheque for a thousand euros.
 
I hope that helps you.
Best wishes,
 
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

sir..
i tried to transform this sentence... so my answers are..
here also two sentences are possible...
1) She was sent a cheque for thousand euros by someone.
2) A thousand euros cheque was sent to her.
Am I correct?
Thanks

Hello munish064,

Those are almost correct. The correct forms would be:

She was sent a cheque for a thousand euros.

A thousand-euro cheque was sent to her.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir,
thanks for your reply

Hi,
I wanted to know what the Passive voice would be for the following sentence:
They are playing in the park.
All I have managed to come up with is 
a) Playing is done by them in the park.
b) The game is being played by them in the park.
Also wanted to know if an object can be introduced while changing a sentence from active voice to passive.

Hello Debjen
The problem you have is that in your sentence you are using 'play' as an intransitive verb - i.e. one without an object.  Play can be transitive or intransitive:

  • transitive (with an object): They are playing football in the park
  • intransitive (without an object): They are playing in the park

We can only make passive sentences if we have an object.  So, we can make a passive sentence from the transitive example:
Football is being played in the park (by them)
We cannot make one from the intransitive example.
What you have done - cleverly - is to introduce an object into the sentence by (in your first try) making 'playing' into a gerund (i.e. a noun) instead of a verb (as part of the present continuous).  In your second try you have introduced an object ('the game') which was not there in the original sentence.  Those are clever cheats to try to get around the problem of having an intransitive verb, but they are still 'cheats'!
I hope that clarifies it for you.
Best wishes,
 
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

hi... Peter thank you very much for your help.

I have a problem in academic writing. How can I improve it?
Moreover, I have problem for using word "supposed to"? where we should use it? Thanks.

I'm confused by the auxiliary verb "Be", especially
in the Perfect form and Passive voice.
For example, in present perfect - They have been married since last year.. In this example have=be, been=Past Participle and married is adj. But in another example in Passive Voice eg. The windows have been cleaned by this morning. In this case have been=be and cleaned=Past Participle.
Shouldn't it be the second example is also in the form of present perfect?
Is it possible to use have been=be + Past Participle in perfect aspect?
For more similar examples like this;
1) The job should has been completed by now.
2) There are 3 casualties have been rescued over the fire incident this morning.
3) The injured person had been attended in time and now he is in hospital.
4) The old lady had been taken to hospital before she dead.
5) A boy had been bitten by your dog, when he passed by your house this morning.

Should the examples above considerable to be the Pefect Aspect or Passive Voice and Why?
Please give more useful examples in this two forms for better understanding.
Million thanks in advance.

Hello Mydearfriend73,
Wow - that's a lot of examples!  I think it's not quite so complicated as you are making it.  To simplify it for you, let's remind ourselves of how we make these two forms:
 

  • perfect forms are made with have + the 3rd form (past participle)

to make different tenses we change the form of 'have'
 

  • passive forms are made with be + the 3rd form (past participle)

to make different tenses we change the form of 'be'
 
Confusion can occur because 'have been' can be the (active voice) present perfect form of 'be' and it can be part of a passive form (present perfect passive).
 
In your first example - 'They have been married since last year' - you have a present perfect form (active voice - have been is the present perfect form of 'be') with an adjective:
They are married / They were married / They will be married / They have been married etc.
I don't think it's helpful to try to break it down into 'have = be' and so on.  It's a normal active voice present perfect form followed by an adjective.  The adjective 'married' looks like a 3rd form, which is confusing.  However, you can replace it with other adjectives such as 'happy' or 'famous', which makes the verb form clearer.
Your second example - 'The windows have been cleaned this morning' (without 'by') is a passive form.  It's also a perfect form because it's a present perfect passive.
present perfect (active voice) = have cleaned
They have cleaned the windows this morning
present perfect (passive voice) = have been cleaned
The windows have been cleaned this morning
 
You can find more information on perfective forms here, which may help you.
I hope that clarifies it for you.
Best wishes,
 
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

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