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Active and passive voice

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


Active and passive voice 2


Active and passive voice 3


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


Active and passive voice 5


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


Active and passive voice 7



Hello Nazibul,
I think the question is asking you to include all the information (including who gave the book) in the answer.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Could anybody change these sentences into passive?
1) We are going by bus.
2) We will meet tomorrow.
3) Birds are flying in the sky.

Hi Samc

These verbs don't have objects (intransitive) and so they can't be made passive.

Look at this sentence:

  • I sold my car.

I = subject (the agent of the action) sold = verb my car = object of the verb

When you use the passive, it is because the object is more important than the agent of the action. So if the car was very important (mine was not), we might want to make it the subject of the sentence... Imagine if it was James Bond's car.

James Bond's Aston Martin from the 1964 film Goldfinger was sold at auction yesterday.

You can find out a more about the passive voice here: 



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Mr Radford

i wnt to read some rules of active passive voice detailly

if some rules are mention in this guidelines then i think so 

I want to rewrite this sentence with a reporting clause in the passive . Which one is well formed?
( many claim that some people can communicate with plants)
1. it has been claimed that some people can ....
2. It is claimed that some people....
Which one is better? and why ? 
I searched the site to get the answer.unfortunatly I couldnt. 
I ll apreciate if you help.
with great thanks to british council

thanx for this lesson

i love you amila jan. keep it up.


 i don't review passive form with this exercises.