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. 





Thank you for the response towards my query. I really would like to know if a passive voice is possible at all for the sentence that I brought up earlier, which is:
They are playing in the park.
The reason I ask this is because this is a sentence in one of the exercises of a fifth standard English text book and it has us a bit worried.

Hi Debjen,
No, a passive form is not possible for this sentence.  In this sentence 'play' is an intransitive verb and cannot be made into a passive form.
To make a sentence in the passive with 'play' you would need to make it transitive ('They are playing SOMETHING in the park').  Then, it would be possible to use the passive voice.
I hope that's clear.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

culd i pls knw what is transtive or intransative words....???
becose as u told to miss. "Debjen" about the sentense "they are playing in the park".
i asked the same sentence to my sir but he told that it is possible to make passive of it...
so m confused...
plz help me....

Hello sharmakishan987,
Transitive verbs are verbs which have an object.  For example:
'I ate a sandwich.'  ['ate' is the verb; 'a sandwich' is the object]
Intransitive verbs do not have an object.  For example:
'The sun rose.' ['rose' is the verb (the past form of 'rise'); there is no object]
You can find more information on transitive verbs here and more information on intransitive verbs here.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

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,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,

You are great! Your explanation is very clear and solved my doubt. Really appreciate it and Thank You very much for the time.

Best Wishes

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.

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

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.