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. 





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

Thank you very much sir.

Can I say "I give him some money" as an active sentence? It doesn't sound correct to me but my school wrote it on the board to be changed into passive voice.

Hello MilaTong,

Yes, you can say that. It is a grammatically correct sentence.



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
Is there any difference in meaning between these two sentences :

The box must have been dropped.
The box must have got dropped.


Hello Arvin,

No, there is no difference in meaning, though the second one would sound inappropriate in formal situations. But there is no difference in meaning.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,
Thank you for the answer.

Dear Sir
I am asking this question to make sure when we use 'by' to show the doer in passive sentences. Eg. The tree was cut by me. The letter was written by the manager
But 'the tree was cut with an axe. The letter was written with a pen. In both these sentences 'with is used instead of 'by'. but in this, for eg. The buildings were destroyed by a violent wind. Now what I would like to know is " Why we use 'by' to show the doer in some and 'with' to show to name the doer. I thought 'by' is for persons and a 'with' is for a thing for eg an axe. a pen. Now I know; I am wrong.
Is there any rule? Please let me know.
Thank you.