Passive in English

1. Passive – Use

We only use the passive when we are interested in the object or when we do not know who caused the action.

Example: Appointments are required in such cases.

2. Passive – Form

to be + past participle

How to form a passive sentence when an active sentence is given:

  • object of the active sentence becomes subject in the passive sentence
  • subject of the active sentence becomes object in the passive sentence" (or is left out)

We can only form a passive sentence from an active sentence when there is an object in the active sentence.

Type of sentence Subject Verb Object
Active sentence: Peter builds a house.
Passiv
Passive sentence: A house is built by Peter.

3. Examples

3.1. Simple Present

Type of sentence Subject Verb Object
Active sentence: Peter builds a house.
Passiv
Passive sentence: A house is built by Peter.

3.2. Simple Past

Type of sentence Subject Verb Object
Active sentence: Peter built a house.
Passiv
Passive sentence: A house was built by Peter.

3.3. Present Perfect

Type of sentence Subject Verb Object
Active sentence: Peter has built a house.
Passiv
Passive sentence: A house has been built by Peter.

3.4. will-future

Type of sentence Subject Verb Object
Active sentence: Peter will build a house.
Passiv
Passive sentence: A house will be built by Peter.

3.5. Modals

Type of sentence Subject Verb Object
Active sentence: Peter can build a house.
Passiv
Passive sentence: A house can be built by Peter.