The Passive Voice

The passive voice
The passive voice

The Passive Voice

The passive voice is an easy lesson as long as we understand two things :

  1. Sentence order.
  2. The rule of passive voice.

Now let’s delve into explaining more what is said before.

1-Sentence order

Consider these changes in the table below :

Active Structure Passive structure
Subject(1) Verb(2) Object (3) Object (3) Verb(2) Subject(1)
Tom Speaks English English is spoken by Tom
The students wrote the lesson The lesson was written by students
My dad is reading a newspaper a newspaper is being read by my father


As you may have noticed that the structure of the active is different from the passive in this way :

  1. Active :    Subject + Verb + object
  2. Passive :  Object  + verb  + subject

you may also have noticed that the verbs form in the active is different from the passive, and this is our next step in understanding this lesson.


2-The rule of passive voice

the verb form in the passive sentence is written this way :

BE + Past participle

Important : (Be) takes the tense/time of the verb in the active form .

the following table shows the different tenses in the active/passive forms:

Tenses Active
simple present Leila feeds an animal an animal is fed by Leila
present continuous Leila is feeding an animal an animal is being fed by Leila
present perfect Leila has fed an animal an animal has been fed by Leila
simple past Leila fed an animal an animal was fed by Leila
past continuous Leila was feeding an animal an animal was being fed by Leila
past perfect Leila had fed an animal an animal had been fed by Leila
the simple future Leila will feed an animal an animal will be fed by Leila
future perfect Leila will have fed an animal an animal will have been fed by Leila
modal verbs Leila can feed an animal an animal can be fed by Leila

Click on the link to do some exercises on PASSIVE VOICE



  1. HI guys I am english departement student and I need help does anyone know a website or anybook I can benifit from it in m studies because I face lot of problemes in this branch spesificly in the grammar please

  2. My dear teacher Kabul
    It is my pleasure to read and learn from your great work. It is beneficial for both students and teachers.
    Wish you all the best

  3. It is actually a great job you are doing for both teachers and students. I would rather be grateful if you suggest efficient but simple ways to write essays of different types. I am saying this, Mr Nabil, since most of our students have srious problems with writing skills.Cordially.Redouane El yousfi, a teacher of English in middle school.

    • Dear Redouane.
      Thank you for your feedback. I will surely do what you have suggested.

  4. Thanks a lot for all the efforts you are making to help both teachers and students with materials and useful resources. I have gone through some lessons and they are really helpful. Cncerning he rules for the passive, I would recommend that you add rules related to the passivization of structures with ‘be going to”, and modal verbs. I generally give my students two rules concerning modal constructions: modal + Verb (infinitive) which becomes Modal + be + PP (this embraces the rule for the future simple; so, I don’t add a seperate rule for that ) and Modal + have + pp , which becomes M+ have been + pp (and this again englobes all the modals referring to the past : should have… , could have…, may have …. , and not simply the future perfect) . There are also rules for the impersonal passive (It is said that …)
    Hope you will find these remarks useful.

    Congrats again on the quality of your work .

    All the best,

    EFL Teacher,

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