Using the English Passive Voice with Different Tenses

English passive voice is formed with the appropriate tense of the verb to be + past participle.

This lesson will help you to understand the passive voice and allow you to make more informed choices in using English.

How to Use the Passive Voice with Different Tenses

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.

Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

Passive Voice with Simple Present Tense

he passive voice is a grammatical construction in which the subject of the sentence is not the doer of the action, but the receiver of the action. In the simple present tense, the passive voice is formed by using the verb “be” in the present tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The dog bites the boy” (active voice), the subject “dog” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “The boy is bitten by the dog” (passive voice), where the subject “boy” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of simple present passive voice sentences:

  • The letter is written by the author.
  • The cake is made by the baker.
  • The song is performed by the singer.
  • The flowers are watered by the gardener.
  • The book is read by the student.

Passive Voice with Simple Present TensePin

Using the English Passive Voice with Different Tenses 2Pin

Passive Voice with Present Continuous Tense

The passive voice can also be used in the present continuous tense to describe actions that are currently in progress. To form the present continuous passive voice, the auxiliary verb “be” is used in the present continuous tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy is writing a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter is being written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of present continuous passive voice sentences:

  • The building is being constructed by the workers.
  • The food is being prepared by the chef.
  • The movie is being watched by the audience.
  • The car is being repaired by the mechanic.
  • The garden is being tended by the gardener.
Passive Voice with Present Continuous TensePin

Passive Voice with Present Perfect Tense

The passive voice can also be used in the present perfect tense to describe actions that were completed at an unspecified time in the past and have a connection to the present. To form the present perfect passive voice, the auxiliary verb “have” is used in the present perfect tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy has written a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter has been written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of present perfect passive voice sentences:

  • The project has been completed by the team.
  • The cake has been baked by the chef.
  • The song has been composed by the musician.
  • The book has been read by the students.
  • The research has been conducted by the scientists.
Passive Voice with Present Perfect TensePin
Passive Voice with Present Perfect TensePin

Passive Voice with Past Simple Tense

The passive voice can also be used in the past simple tense to describe actions that were completed at a specific time in the past. To form the past simple passive voice, the auxiliary verb “be” is used in the past simple tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy wrote a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter was written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of past simple passive voice sentences:

  • The cake was made by the baker.
  • The song was performed by the singer.
  • The book was read by the student.
  • The building was constructed by the workers.
  • The research was conducted by the scientists.

Passive Voice with Past Simple TensePin

Passive Voice with Past Simple TensePin

Passive Voice with Past Simple TensePin

Passive Voice with Past Continuous Tense

The passive voice can also be used in the past continuous tense to describe actions that were in progress at a specific time in the past. To form the past continuous passive voice, the auxiliary verb “be” is used in the past continuous tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy was writing a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter was being written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of past continuous passive-voice sentences:

  • The building was being constructed by the workers.
  • The food was being prepared by the chef.
  • The movie was being watched by the audience.
  • The car was being repaired by the mechanic.
  • The garden was being tended by the gardener.
Passive Voice with Past Continuous TensePin

Passive Voice with Past Perfect Tense

The passive voice can also be used in the past perfect tense to describe actions that were completed before another past action or event. To form the past perfect passive voice, the auxiliary verb “had” is used in the past perfect tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy had written a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter had been written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of past perfect passive voice sentences:

  • The project had been completed by the team before the deadline.
  • The cake had been baked by the chef before the party.
  • The song had been composed by the musician before the concert.
  • The book had been read by the students before the exam.
  • The research had been conducted by the scientists before the presentation.

Passive Voice with Past Perfect TensePin

Passive Voice with Simple Future Tense (Will)

The passive voice can also be used in the simple future tense (using “will”) to describe actions that will be completed in the future. To form the simple future passive voice, the auxiliary verb “will be” is used in the future tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy will write a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter will be written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of simple future passive voice sentences:

  • The building will be constructed by the workers.
  • The food will be prepared by the chef.
  • The movie will be watched by the audience.
  • The car will be repaired by the mechanic.
  • The garden will be tended by the gardener.
Passive Voice with Simple Future Tense (Will)Pin

Passive Voice with Simple Future Tense (Be Going to)

The passive voice can also be used in the simple future tense (using “be going to”) to describe actions that will be completed in the future. To form the simple future passive voice, the auxiliary verb “be going to be” is used in the future tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy is going to write a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter is going to be written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of simple future passive voice sentences:

  • The building is going to be constructed by the workers.
  • The food is going to be prepared by the chef.
  • The movie is going to be watched by the audience.
  • The car is going to be repaired by the mechanic.
  • The garden is going to be tended by the gardener.

Passive Voice with Simple Future Tense (Be Going to)Pin

Passive Voice with Future Perfect Tense

The passive voice can also be used in the future perfect tense to describe actions that will be completed before a specific time in the future. To form the future perfect passive voice, the auxiliary verb “will have” is used in the future perfect tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example, in the sentence “The boy will have written a letter” (active voice), the subject “boy” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter will have been written by the boy” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of future perfect passive voice sentences:

  • The project will have been completed by the team before the deadline.
  • The cake will have been baked by the chef before the party.
  • The song will have been composed by the musician before the concert.
  • The book will have been read by the students before the exam.
  • The research will have been conducted by the scientists before the presentation.

Passive Voice with Future Perfect TensePin

Passive Voice with Modal Verbs

Modal verbs, such as “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “shall,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “must,” and “ought to,” can also be used in the passive voice to indicate possibility, permission, ability, or necessity. The structure for forming the passive voice with modal verbs is the modal verb + be + past participle of the main verb

For example, in the sentence “I can write a letter” (active voice), the subject “I” is the doer of the action. To convert this sentence to the passive voice, we would say “A letter can be written by me” (passive voice), where the subject “letter” is now the receiver of the action.

Here are some examples of passive voice sentences using modal verbs:

  • The cake must be baked by the chef before the party
  • The song should be performed by the singer at the concert
  • The book may be read by the students during the class
  • The building could be constructed by the workers if the budget is approved
  • The research would be conducted by the scientists if the grant is obtained

Passive Voice with Modal VerbsPin

Passive Voice with Modal VerbsPin

Passive Voice with Wh/ H-Questions

Wh-questions, or questions that begin with words such as “what,” “when,” “where,” “who,” “whom,” “whose,” “why,” and “how,” can also be formed using the passive voice. To form a passive voice wh-question, the auxiliary verb “be” is used in the appropriate tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb and the wh-word at the beginning of the sentence.

For example, in the active voice statement “The boy writes a letter,” the question “Who writes the letter?” can be changed to the passive voice question “Who is the letter written by?”

Here are some examples of passive voice wh-questions:

  • What is being done by the workers?
  • When is the cake going to be baked by the chef?
  • Where is the movie being watched by the audience?
  • Who is the research being conducted by?
  • Whom is the letter being written to?
  • Whose car is being repaired?
  • Why is the garden being tended?
  • How is the song being performed?

Passive Voice with Wh/ H-QuestionsPin

Passive Voice with Causative Verbs

Here are some examples of passive voice sentences using causative verbs:

  • The cake was made by the chef ( make )
  • The car was repaired by the mechanic ( have )
  • The garden was tended by the gardener ( get )
  • The letter was written by the boy ( let )
  • The research was conducted by the scientists ( help )
Passive Voice with Causative VerbsPin
Passive Voice with Causative VerbsPin
Passive Voice with Causative VerbsPin

Passive Voice with Different Tenses | Images

English Passive Voice with Different TensesPin
English Passive Voice with Different TensesPin
English Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

English Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

English Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

English Passive Voice with Different TensesPin

English passive voice – Pictures

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Mohale
Mohale
2 years ago

Change this sentence in passive voice
I went to town

Maria
Maria
2 years ago
Reply to  Mohale

I was taken to town
The town was visited by me

Nasteex
Nasteex
1 year ago

Good website i liked this

Jianphumei
Jianphumei
11 months ago

I want to know very clearly

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