Passive Voice

published by Tomi Anania

Want to create a visual like this?

Get Started
Use of Passive 
Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.  Example: My bike was stolen.  In the example, the focus is on the fact that the bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.  Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows, example: A mistake was made.  In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.).
Form of Passive
Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregular verbs)  Example: A letter was written.  When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:  the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence the finite form of the verb is changed (to be + past participle) the subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence.
Structure of Every Tense
Simple Present: Is/Are/Am + 3rd Column Present Continous: Am/Is/Are + Being + 3rd Column Present Perfect: Has/Have + Been + 3rd Column  Simple Past: Was/Were + 3rd Column Past Continous: Was/Were + Being + 3rd Column Past Perfect: Had + Been +  3rd Column Will: Will + Be + 3rd Column Going To: Is/Are/Am + Going to + 3rd Column Modals: Ought to/Can/May/Must/Should/Has to + Be + 3rd Column