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How to use Passive Voice

Passive or Active?

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  • Passive voice – пассивный залог
  • Object – объект (тот, над кем совершают действие)
  • Subject – субъект (тот, кто совершает действие)
  • Emphasize – подчеркнуть, выделить
  • Past Participle ( V3,ed) – третья форма глагола

Passive voice formula: the verb TO BE (in the appropriate tense) + past participle (of the main verb)

Here are some examples of passive voice used with different tenses.

The present simple: Many things are produced in China

The present continuous: My watch is being repaired at the moment

The present perfect: The task has been carefully prepared

The past simple: The webinar was prepared by the teacher

The past continuous: The webinar was being prepared during some time

The past perfect: The cake has been eaten before I came home

The future tense: The exam will be passed successfully

With modals (can be, would be, should be, may be, must be): The forms of the verb “TO BE” must be memorized

The passive voice is used:

  • When we want to emphasize the action (the verb) and the object of a sentence rather than subject (doer).

Passive: Napa Valley is known for its excellent wines.

Active: [Many people] know Napa Valley for its excellent wines.

  • When we don’t know who or what the subject is.

Passive: My laptop was stolen.

Active: Someone stole my laptop.

  • For announcements, news and reports

Ten civilians were killed in the bomb explosion.

  • Impersonal statement

The laptop was broken. (If you want to avoid saying “I broke the laptop”)

  • Describing procedures

Passive: Chocolate is made of cocoa beans.

When we know who the subject is, we put it at the end with by. We call this an agent.

Passive: The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. (agent =Leonardo Da Vinci )

Active: Leonaro Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa

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