How to Use the Passive Voice with Different Tenses in English

In English, the passive voice is used to show the focus on the action or event rather than the person or thing performing the action. The passive voice is formed using a form of the “to be” verb and the past participle of the main verb. In this article, you will learn how to use the passive voice in different tenses, including present, past, and future, to express various time frames and situations.

Passive Voice and Active Voice

Active voice is a grammatical construction in which the subject of the sentence performs the action of the verb. In an active voice sentence, the subject is typically the person or thing doing the action. For example, “The boy kicked the ball” is written in the active voice because the subject “the boy” is the one performing the action of “kicking.”

The passive voice in English is a grammatical construction that changes the focus of a sentence from the person or thing doing the action (the “agent”) to the person or thing that the action is being done to (the “subject” of the sentence). In a passive voice sentence, the subject of the sentence is the person or thing receiving the action and the agent of the action can be introduced using preposition ‘by’ or omitted. The passive voice is formed by using a form of the verb “to be” (such as “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” “were,” “being,” or “been”) and the past participle of the main verb.

Examples:

  • Active Voice: “The dog chased the cat.” Passive Voice: “The cat was chased by the dog.”
  • Active Voice: “John finished the project.” Passive Voice: “The project was finished by John.”
  • Active Voice: “Samantha wrote the report.” Passive Voice: “The report was written by Samantha.”
  • Active Voice: “The boy broke the window.” Passive Voice: “The window was broken by the boy.”
  • Active Voice: “He closed the door.” Passive Voice: “The door was closed.” (omitting the agent)

 

Passive VoicePin

How to Use the Passive Voice with Different Tenses

We can use passive voice with most tenses. To change the tense of a passive sentence, you change the form of the verb ‘be’. The main verb in a passive sentence is always in the past participle form.

In English, the passive voice can be used with different tenses to express various time frames and situations. The basic structure of the passive voice is: “form of the verb ‘to be’ + past participle of the main verb.”

To form the passive voice in the present tense, you use the present form of the verb “to be” + the present participle of the main verb. For example:

  • Active Voice: “The dog chases the cat.”
  • Passive Voice: “The cat is chased by the dog.”

To form the passive voice in the past tense, you use the past form of the verb “to be” + the past participle of the main verb. For example:

  • Active Voice: “The teacher graded the papers.”
  • Passive Voice: “The papers were graded by the teacher.”

To form the passive voice in the future tense, you use the future form of the verb “to be” (will be) + the present participle of the main verb. For example:

  • Active Voice: “He will finish the project.”
  • Passive Voice: “The project will be finished by him.”

It’s also possible to use continuous or progressive tenses in passive voice which is formed by combining the form of the verb ‘to be’ with ‘being’ and the present participle of the main verb.

For example, in present continuous tense:

  • Active Voice: “She is writing a novel.”
  • Passive Voice: “A novel is being written by her.”

and in past continuous tense:

  • Active Voice: “They were building the bridge.”
  • Passive Voice: “The bridge was being built by them.”

It’s important to note that the passive voice is not always the best choice for expressing ideas, as it can make sentences longer and less clear. In most cases, the active voice is more appropriate and it conveys more information and make the sentence more direct. However, the passive voice can be useful in certain situations, such as when the focus is on the person or thing

Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

The passive is formed with the appropriate tense of the verb …

Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

Examples of Active Voice and Passive Voice with Different Tenses

Active Voice with different tenses:

  • Present Tense: “The boy reads the book.”
  • Past Tense: “The girl sang a song.”
  • Future Tense: “They will eat dinner together.”

Passive Voice with different tenses:

  • Present Tense: “The book is read by the boy.”
  • Past Tense: “A song was sung by the girl.”
  • Future Tense: “Dinner will be eaten together by them.”

It is important to notice that the passive voice is formed using the same tense of the main verb but changing the subject and the auxiliary verb. In the passive voice the agent can be omitted if it is not important or if it is unknown in the sentence. Also, Passive voice can be conjugated in continuous form or progressive tenses, for example:

  • Active Voice: “She is writing a novel.”
  • Passive Voice: “A novel is being written by her.”

And, for the future continuous

  • Active Voice: “They will be talking on the phone at 8 PM”
  • Passive Voice: “The phone call will be being held by them at 8 PM”

It’s important to keep in mind that while passive voice can be used in all tenses, it’s not always the best choice and active voice is more preferred as it’s more direct, clear and provide more information about the action and the doer of it.

Examples of Passive VoicePin

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risgul
risgul
5 years ago

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Johns
Johns
3 years ago

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Ffsajay
Ffsajay
1 year ago

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Naiba Hamid
Naiba Hamid
1 year ago

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