This chapter will discuss the active and passive voice in English, these are not tenses. However, the verbs in the passive and active voice can be conjugated to all the tenses, for example present simple or past perfect. Active and passive voice is about the structure of the sentence and differ in who is performing the action in the sentence.
In the active voice, also known as direct voice, a subject performs an action.
Structure: Subject + main verb + receiver of action.
The passive voice is used to put more stress on the action and not on the persons that perform the actions. The passive voice is mostly used when it is not important who performed the action.
Structure: Subject + verb 'to be' + past participle of the main verb
|Active voice||A car||hit||the dog|
|Passive voice||The dog||was hit||by a car|
The difference between active and passive voice in different tenses is shown in the table below.
|Verb tenses||Active voice||Passive voice|
|Simple Present||Joe writes a letter.||A letter is written by Joe.|
|Present Continous||My sister is keeping my house tidy.||My house is being kept tidy by my sister.|
|Simple Past||The government built a school.||A school was built by the government.|
|Past Continous||The band was singing my favourite song.||My favourite song was being sung by me.|
|Present Perfect||The earthquake has destroyed the whole city.||The whole city has been destroyed by the earthquake.|
|Past perfect||Michael had published an article.||An article had been published by Michael.|
|Simple Future||My mother will keep our dog.||The dog will be kept by my mother.|
|Conditional Present||If you told me, I would keep your secret.||If you told me, your secret would be kept.|
I would have repaired your bicycle here if you had left it with me.
Your bicycle would have been repaired here if you had left it with me.
To transform an active sentence into a passive one, the steps below have to be followed:
|She wears a blue sweater.||
||A blue sweater is worn by her.|
|My father is painting the wall.||
||The wall is being painted by my father.|
|She cooks our dinner.||
||Our dinner is cooked by her.|
Train your skills by doing the exercises below!
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