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

Section: 

Comments

Dear Sir
I would like to know in this sentence the word 'used' which is past participle of use doesn't have a helping verb. Is it undestood the helping verb for eg 'are' but need not write it. I am I correct? The sentence is: Some verbs very frequently 'used' in the pasive ... This is given in the above website.
Please let me know
Thank you.

Hello Andrew international,

You need to quote the whole sentence here, not just a part of it:

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

 

The subject here is some verbs very frequently used in the passive. The verb is the passive form are followed and there is a prepositional phrase with by to show the agent (the doer of the action).

You can think of it as having a reduced relative clause:

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

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
This is not about active - passive. but I request you to explain this.
1. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
2. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon
I think both are correct. I have come across these in formal letters mostly.
But why two different tenses? Can I use either? Is first one is better than the second?
Please let me know.
Thank you.
Regards

Hello Andrew international,

Yes, both are correct. The context can make a difference sometimes, but in most cases there is probably no real difference in meaning. The continuous form (in sentence 2) could make the desire seem a bit stronger, but probably in most cases there is no difference.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Tpoic: avtive or pasive
There are many countries in the world which are devoloped and some are developing.
Please tell me ' are developed' is passive or not.
Thank you.

Hello Andrew international,

In this case, 'are' is a verb and 'developed' is an adjective formed from the past participle -- this is not a passive construction. Here 'developed' means something that has already been developed whereas 'developing' means it is still in the process of being developed.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Please let me know the following senttence is pasive or not because it doesn't have an agent so it can't be passive but it has the passive structure.
eg. Those countries are developed.
Thank you.

Hello Andrew international,

Passive construction do not have to have an agent; in fact, many times the point of a passive construction is to not discuss the agent or to draw attention away from them. Therefore I'm afraid I can't say whether it is a passive construction or the verb 'be' + an adjective (an adjective that is formed from the past participle of the verb 'develop') without seeing the context. If you can supply the context then we can help you see how this works.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

What time would it be convenient to come round? Do dwe consider this sentence in future or future in the past. Can we use would for future tense als?

Hello aseel aftab,

We use 'would' here as a polite form. 'Will' is also possible, but is rather less formal/polite:

What time will it be convenient to come round?

What time would it be convenient to come round?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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