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

i want to know more about tense balancing and is it possible in compound or complex sentence to express an action in the past in the first sentence and express an action in the present in the second sentence also in the third sentence if yes tell me why

change the voice:
i killed the cat

Hello!
Please can you give me some more exercices with passive and active ?
Thank you :)

Hello Ida175!
Don't forget you can search our site using the “Search” box! If you enter 'passive' into that, the first result is this passive exercise page. Keep looking down the list, and you will find other exercises about the passive, like this video about the passive voice from our Word on the Street series – and there's more, too!
 
Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the site!
 
Regards
 
JeremyBee
The Learn English Team

is good for me to have information for passive and active
 

Hello! I've got some questions,  is it possible to rewrite any sentence in passive voice if it has an object? or is there a point when it sound bad? when do you recommend me to use it?

Hello!!
I  want to know the correct answer to the question given below:
Q: He gave me a book. [ change the voice]
Answer:1: I was given a book.
Answer:2. I was given a book by him.
Which answer  is correct  and why?
Thank you.

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

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/active-and-passive-voice 

Thanks

Jack

The LearnEnglish Team

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