Passive Voice

Passive Voice

The passive voice is used to highlight an action being done to a subject, rather than a subject doing an action.
It focuses on the receiver of the action, instead of who or what is doing the action.
All forms of the
passive voice are made with the verb “to be” and the past participle.


Common uses:

  1. When the performer of the action is unknown or obvious
    • The car was stolen last night. (We don’t know who stole it.)
    • The thief has been arrested. (It’s obvious that the police arrested the thief.)
  1. When the focus is on the action or the receiver of the action
    • The window is broken, so the air conditioning is escaping. (The focus is on the broken window. Who or what broke the window is not important.)
    • The lost dog was found. (the important information is that the dog was found, not who found it.)
  1. In formal or scientific writing
    • The experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis.
    • A new method for water purification is being developed.



Example Sentence

Present Simple

is/am/are + past participle

The book is read by many students.

Past Simple

was/were + past participle

The cake was baked by my mom.

Present Continuous

is/am/are being + past participle

The house is being renovated by a construction crew.

Past Continuous

was/were being + past participle

The movie was being watched by a large audience.

Present Perfect

has/have been + past participle

The project has been completed by the team.

Past Perfect

had been + past participle

The documents had been signed by the CEO.

Future Simple

will be + past participle

The package will be delivered tomorrow.

Future Perfect

will have been + past participle

The assignment will have been submitted by the deadline.

Check your understanding of the Passive Voice

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