When people are learning English grammar, they often feel confused by the passive voice. Let’s keep it simple:
Why do we use the passive voice?
- To sound serious/formal
- To focus on the object instead of the subject
- If we don’t know the subject of the sentence
How do we make passive sentences?
Use object + be + past participle + (by subject).
|Object||“Be”||Past participle||(by subject)|
|The bike||was||stolen||by somebody|
To change the tense, change “be”. Everything else stays the same.
|Past simple||His bike||was||stolen||(by somebody)|
|Present continuous||His bike||is being||stolen||(by somebody)|
|Present perfect||His bike||has been||stolen||(by somebody)|
Compare active and passive sentences
Video lesson on passive sentences
Change these active sentences into passive sentences.
- The ball was caught by the dog.
- The bricks were broken by the man.
- The car was pushed by the children.
- The baby was thrown by the man.
- The man was licked by the dog.