PASSIVE VOICE IN ENGLISH

 STEPS TO TURN SENTENCES INTO PASSIVE 

 

 

Let’s see the following example in active and passive:

 

 

The boy buys the house [active]

      (subject)   (verb)       (object)

 

 
   

The house is bought (by the boy) [passive]

        (subject)    [be + participle] + [by + agent]

 

 

First step: The object of the active voice (this is usually the first word or noun phrase after the verb) turns into subject in the passive voice. 

 

 

Second step: The verb be must be written with the same tense of the active voice, for example, am, is, are when the active sentence is simple present, or was / were when the active sentence is past simple. “

 

Third step: The main verb in the active sentence (buys) turns into participle in the passive voice (bought)

 

Last step: The subject of the active voice (the boy) turns into “agentive complement” (preposition by + active subject), that is, “by the boy”

 

By + agent omission à The agent is not mention when it is obvious, unimportant or unkown. Examples

 

The house is bought (by the boy) à The agent is not important, and it’s omitted.

The thief was caught by the police à The agent is important, it is not omitted.

 

 

 

Have a look at the following box:

 

FORM

ACTIVE

PASSIVE

 

PRESENT SIMPLE

PRESENT CONTINUOUS

PAST SIMPLE

PAST CONTINUOUS

PRESENT PEFECT SIMPLE

PAST PERFECT SIMPLE

FUTURE SIMPLE

FUTURE PERFECT SIMPLE

BE GOING TO

MODAL

SEMI – MODAL

MODAL PERFECT

 

 

They buy the house

They are buying the house

They bought the house

They were buying the house

They have bought the house

They had bought the house

They will buy the house

They will have bought the house

They are going to buy the house

They can buy the house

They has to buy the house

They should have bought the house

 

 

The house is bought

The house is being bought

The house was bought

The house was being bought

The house has been bought

The house had been bought

The house will be bought

The house will have been bought

The house is going to be bought

The house can be bought

The house has to be bought

The house should have been bought