Passive Voice Explained with Examples and for the Level B2

Passive Voice: All Tenses Explained with Examples and Correctly Explained for Level B2

In this blog post, we’re going to cover the types of passive voice in English, how to identify it, and how to fix it through some simple techniques. The passive voice is used when the subject of a sentence is unknown or unimportant. The verb in the sentence is conjugated to agree with the object (the noun that is affected by the action of the verb), and the subject is either omitted altogether or appears later in the sentence as an indirect object.

Here are some examples of sentences written in the passive voice:

The lamp was knocked over by a gust of wind.
Two dozen cookies were baked by Sarah this afternoon.
The windows were cleaned yesterday.
 
As you can see, in each of these examples, the subject of the sentence is not performing the action of the verb. This construction is often used in formal or scientific writing, as it can make complex ideas easier to understand.
 
Approx 20% of The World's Population Speaks English & You Can Too
 
However, the passive voice can also make your writing sound dull and convoluted. In order to keep your writing clear and concise, it’s important to use the active voice whenever possible.
 
To convert a sentence from the passive to the active voice, simply identify the subject and move it to before the verb. In most cases, you will also need to change the verb tense to reflect that the subject is now performing the action.

The Passive Voice

The passive voice is a form of grammar that allows the speaker to receive the action rather than perform the action. In other words, the subject of the sentence becomes the recipient of the verb’s action. For example, “I am being chased by a dog” is in the passive voice. The subject, “I,” is not doing the chasing; rather, “I” is having the action done to him or her.
 
 
Learning English Can Also Improve Your Confidence & Self-Esteem.
The passive voice can be used in all tenses: present, past, and future. For example:
Present tense: The cookies are being eaten by John.
Past tense: The cookies were being eaten by John.
Future tense: The cookies will be being eaten by John.
 
The passive voice is often used in scientific writing because it allows writers to focus on the process or results of an experiment without assigning credit or blame to any particular individual.
 
For example: “Two hundred mice were injected with the experimental drug” is in the passive voice. This sentence does not need to say who injected the mice; what’s important is that 200 mice were injected and that they received an experimental drug.
 
The passive voice can also be used to make a sentence sound more polite or formal. For example: “Can you please close the door?” sounds more polite than “Close the door!” 
 

The Passive Voice: Present Simple

In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. In other words, something happens to the subject. The passive voice is used in all tenses: present, past, and future.
 
Here are some examples of the passive voice in each tense:
 
Present Simple: The flowers are watered by the gardener.
Past Simple: The lamp was knocked over by a gust of wind.
Future Simple: The windows will be cleaned by the maid.

The Passive Voice: Present Continuous

In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon by the verb. In the present continuous tense, the verb shows that an action is happening now or around now. The present continuous of most verbs is formed with am/is/are + being + past participle. For example:
 
  • – Someone is writing a book about the history of the world.
  • – They are painting the house yellow.
  • – We are watching a movie.

Make Progress With Your English Today Easily & Correctly A1 to C2

 

  • – A book is being written about the history of the world.
  • – The house is being painted yellow.
  • – A movie is being watched.
 

The Passive Voice: Present Perfect

 
The passive voice is one of the most misunderstood concepts in grammar. The main confusion comes from the fact that there are two types of passive voice: present perfect and past simple. In this article, we will explain both tenses with examples and show you how to correctly use them in your writing.
 
The present perfect passive voice is used to describe an event that happened in the past and is still relevant today. For example, “The house has been sold.” This means that the house was sold at some point in the past and it is no longer owned by the person who sold it.
 
The past simple passive voice is used to describe an event that happened in the past but is no longer relevant today. For example, “The house was sold.” This means that the house was sold at some point in the past but it is no longer owned by the person who sold it.
1.5 Billion People Speak English in The World And You Can Join them Today

The Passive Voice: Past Simple

 
The passive voice is used when the subject of a sentence is unknown or unimportant. The verb in the passive voice is always in the past tense. For example:
 
The lamp was knocked over.
The window was broken by a rock.
 
In the first sentence, we do not know who knocked over the lamp. In the second sentence, we do not know who threw the rock.
To form a sentence in the passive voice, we use the past tense form of the verb “to be” and the past participle of the main verb. For example:
  •  
  • The lamp was knocked over.
  • The window was broken by a rock.
 
The passive voice is often used in newspaper headlines, because the subject is usually unknown or unimportant. For example:
 
  • Two Men Arrested in Connection with Robbery
  • Body Found in Park
 

The Passive Voice: Past Continuous

 
In the passive voice, the past continuous tense is used to describe an ongoing action that was happening at a specific time in the past. For example, “The sun was setting when I arrived at the park.” In this sentence, the sun is the subject and was setting is the verb phrase. The time when I arrived at the park is specified as the moment when the action of sunsetting was taking place.
 
The passive voice past continuous tense can also be used to describe an ongoing action that was happening over a period of time in the past. For example, “I was studying for my exams all week.” In this sentence, I is the subject and was studying is the verb phrase. The time frame all week is specified as the duration during which I studied.
English Can Boost Your Career Prospects & Your Earning Potential

The Passive Voice: Past Perfect

 
The passive voice is a grammatical construction in which the object of a verb (usually an action or event) is moved to the subject position. In the past perfect, the passive voice uses the verb have with the past participle of the main verb. For example:
 
The lamp was knocked over. (active voice)
 
The lamp had been knocked over. (passive voice)
 
In this sentence, the subject (lamp) is in the passive voice because it is acted upon by theverb (knocked). The active voice would be: Someone knocked over the lamp.
 
The Passive Voice: Future Plain Indefinite
 

1. The Passive Voice: Future Plain Indefinite

 
The passive voice is used when the subject of a sentence is unknown or unimportant. The passive voice is often used in scientific writing, as it allows writers to focus on the action without naming the actor. In the passive voice, the verb is conjugated to agree with the noun or pronoun that would be the subject of an active sentence (for example, “The experiment was conducted by Sarah”).
 
The future plain indefinite tense is used to describe actions that will happen in the future without specifying when they will occur. This tense is formed by using the auxiliary verb “will” followed by the infinitive form of the main verb (for example, “I will write a paper”). The future plain indefinite tense can be used for both planned and unplanned actions.
 

Summary of the Passive Voice

 
The passive voice is a verb form that is used when the subject of a sentence is unknown or unimportant. The sentence construction will typically involve some form of the verb “to be” plus a past participle verb. For example, “The ball was thrown by John.” In this example, the subject (John) is doing the action (throwing), but the focus of the sentence is on the ball.
 

Thank you for reading!

This was written by me. Bryce Purnell, founder of Learn Laugh Speak.

Check out more on my Medium or send me an email if you’re ever curious about anything at all 

CLICK HERE 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LEARN LAUGH LIBRARY

Keep up to date with your English blogs and downloadable tips and secrets from native English Teachers

Learn More