PASSIVE VOICE 2
Events may be related in the active or the passive voice. In the passive, the
person or thing receiving the action becomes the grammatical
For example (the entity receiving
the action is in boldface):
- active voice: Eric Rohmer made
- passive voice: This film
was made by Eric Rohmer.
forms the passive by conjugating the verb "to be" before the past
participle of the principal verb. the tense of the verb "to be" will
determine the tense of action. When an agent of the action (that is, the person
or entity performing the action) must be described, one does so by using
the preposition "by":
- This industry will soon be
developed in the third world.
- Sorry, but this car has been
purchased by another customer.
English uses the
passive voice frequently, although it is best to avoid it when possible. An
option is to use an impersonal subject, such as "one" or
The passive voice is used to show interest in
the person or object that experiences an action rather than the person or object
that performs the action, e.g.
- (passive voice): This job needs to
- (active voice): Someone needs to
do this job.
The passive is used ...:
We are interested in the
passive, not who uses it.
The house was
built in 1654:
We are interested in the house, not the
The road is being repaired:
We are interested in the road, not the people repairing
In other words, the most important thing or
person becomes the subject of the sentence.
Sometimes we use the passive voice because we
don't know or cannot express who or what performed the action:
If we want to say who or what performs the
action, we use the preposition by:
The passive voice is often used in formal or
Infinitive form: infinitive of
'to be' + past participle: (to) be cleaned
A great deal of meaning is conveyed by a
few well-chosen words.
Our planet is
wrapped in a mass of
Waste materials are disposed
of in a variety of ways.
This form is used after modal verbs and other
verbs normally followed by an infinitive, e.g.
You have to be
tested on your English grammar
promoted next year.
invited to the
Gerund or -ing
form: being +
past participle: being cleaned
This form is used after prepositions and
verbs normally followed by a gerund
a. Most film stars hate being interviewed.
b. I remember being
taught to drive.
c. The children are
excited about being taken to the zoo.
NOTE: Sometimes the passive is formed using the verb
to get instead of the verb to be:
a. He got
arrested for dangerous
b. They're getting
married later this year.
not sure how the window got