We use the Passive Voice when we want to focus on the action itself rather than who or what is performing it.
The Passive Voice has the following structure:
to be (use appropriate tense) + past participle of the main verb
Example: Parcels are delivered every day.
Only transitive verbs can be used in the passive. Transitive verbs are verbs that take an object.
Transitive verb: He carries the bag. => carry = verb; bag => object
Intransitive verb: I ran. => run = verb; but it cannot take/have an object like ‘carry'[/idea]
Use of the passive voice
- use the passive when the person who does the action is unknown or unimportant
- when you want to emphasize who does the action
- to make general statements or announcements more formal
- use passive to avoid responsibility
- My house was built in 1960.
- My house was built by my father.
- The next press conference will be held next Monday.
- Mistakes were made. <=> I made a mistake. (In the first, passive sentence the speaker avoids responsibility, while in the second, active sentence the speaker takes responsibility.)
An active verb says what the subject does.
A passive verb says what happens to the subject.
Karl benz invented the first car. => In this sentence the subject is “Karl Benz”. The subject invented …..
The first car was invented by Karl Benz. => In this sentence the subject is “The first car”. We say what happens/happened to it. It was invented by Karl Benz.
Forms of the passive voice
|Tense||Subject||To be||Past Participle|
|Present simple||The door||is||stuck.|
|Present continuous||Our house||is being||repainted.|
|Past continuous||I||was being||followed.|
|Present perfect||The local police||have been||called in.|
|Past perfect||Sam||had been||trapped.|
|Future tense||They||will be||astonished.|
|Modal auxiliaries||Guns||should be||banned.|