The passive voice is a grammatical construction used in English to emphasize the object of an action rather than the subject. In a passive sentence, the subject is being acted upon or is receiving the action, while the doer of the action is often placed in a prepositional phrase or omitted altogether.
The passive voice is formed by using the appropriate form of the verb “to be” (e.g., is, am, are, was, were) followed by the past participle of the main verb.
Object as the subject
In passive voice sentences, the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence.
Use of “by” (optional)
When we want to mention the doer of the action in the passive voice, we use the preposition “by” followed by the doer.
Focus on the action or object
The passive voice is used when we want to emphasize the action itself or the object being acted upon, rather than the doer of the action.
Common situations for passive voice
The passive voice is commonly used when the doer of the action is unknown, unimportant, or obvious from the context. It is also used when talking about general truths, scientific facts, or processes.
is/are + past participle
The car is washed every week.
was/were + past participle
The book was written by Mark Twain.
was/were being + past participle
The house was being renovated last month.
Present Perfect Simple
has/have been + past participle
The package has been delivered.
Present Perfect Continuous
has/have been being + past participle
The movie has been being filmed for months.
Past Perfect Simple
had been + past participle
The project had been completed before the deadline.
Modal + Passive Form
modal verb (can/could/may/might/should, etc.) + be + past participle