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.
Example: My bike was stolen.
In the exampleabove, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.
Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:Example: A mistake was made.
In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. you have made a mistake.).
Form of Passive
Subject + to be + Past ParticipleExample: A letter was written.
When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:
• the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence
• thefinite form of the verb is changed (to be + past participle)
• the subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped)
Examples of Passive
|Tense|Subject |Verb |Object |
|Simple Present |Active: |Rita || |
| | | |writes |a letter. |
||Passive: |A letter |is written |by Rita. |
|Simple Past |Active: |Rita |wrote|a letter. |
| |Passive: |A letter |has been written |by Rita. |
|Future I |Active:|Rita |will write |a letter. |
| |Passive: |A letter |can be written |by Rita....