Passives and their uses

Hoy os traemos un post muy interesante, y es que en inglés el uso de las pasivas es algo muy útil ya que como iréis viendo se usan mucho más que en español y estas son muy frecuentes para dar un sentido más formal o indirecto a aquello que decimos.

Use of Passive

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 example above, 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 + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregular verbs)

Example: 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
  • the finite 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 passive brickfield idiomas

passive brickfieldidiomas


Passive Voice – Exercises on Form

Write passive sentences in Simple Present.

  1. the documents / print 
  2. the window / open 
  3. the shoes / buy 
  4. the car / wash 
  5. the litter / throw away 
  6. the letter / send 
  7. the book / read / not 
  8. the songs / sing / not 
  9. the food / eat / not 
  10. the shop / close / not 

Write passive sentences in Simple Past.

  1. the test / write 
  2. the table / set 
  3. the cat / feed 
  4. the lights / switch on 
  5. the house / build 
  6. dinner / serve 
  7. this computer / sell / not 
  8. the car / stop / not 
  9. the tables / clean / not 
  10. the children / pick up / not 

    More exercises

    1. Complete the sentences with the correct passive form of the verbs in brackets. Use the Present Simple.

    a. English ____________________ (speak) in many countries.

    b. The post ______________________ (deliver) at about 7 o’clock every morning.

    c. ______________________________ (the building/use) any more?

    d. How often ______________________________ (the Olympic Games(hold)?

    e. How _______________________ (your name/spell)?

    f. My salary _____________________ (pay) every month.

    g. These cars _________________________ (not make) in Japan.

    h. The name of the people who committed the crime _____________________ (not know).

    i. His travel expenses ________________________ (not pay) by his company.

    2. Complete the sentences with the correct passive form of the verbs in brackets. Use the Past Simple.

    a. My car ______________________ (repair) last week.

    b. This song ________________________ (not write) by John Lennon.

    c. ________________________________ (the phone/answer) by a young girl?

    d. The film ________________________ (make) ten years ago.

    e. When ______________________________ (tennis/invent)?

    f. The car ________________________ (not damaged) in the accident.

    g. The original building _________________________ (pull) down in 1965.

    h. Where ______________________________ (this pot/make)?

    i. When _______________________________ (this bridge/build)?

    3. Choose the correct form of the verbs in brackets.


    Fiat 0 was started (started/was started) by a group of Italian businessmen in 1899. In 1903, Fiat, 1_________________ (produced/was produced) 132 cars. Some of these cars 2_____________________ (exported/were exported) by the company to the United States and Britain. In 1920, Fiat 3_________________ (started/was started) making cars at a new factory at Lingotto, near Turin. There was a track on the roof where the cars 4____________________ (tested/were tested) by technicians. In 1936, Fiat launched the Fiat 500. This car 5____________________ (called/was called) the Topolino – the Italian name for Mickey Mouse. The company grew, and in 1963 Fiat 6_____________________ (exported/was exported) more than 300,000 vehicles. Today, Fiat is based in Turin, and its cars 7_________________ (sold/are sold) all over the world.

    4. Change the following sentences into passive sentences using the words in brackets.

    a. We sell tickets for all shows at the Box Office. (Tickets for all shows/sell/at the Box Office) _________________________________________________________________________________

    b. Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb. (The electric light bulb/invent/by Thomas Edison)


    c. Someone painted the office last week. (The office/paint/last week)


    d. Several people saw the accident. (The accident/see/by several people)


    e. Where do they make these video recorders? (Where/these video recorders/make)

    5. Rewrite these sentences in the passive voice.

    a. Someone built this house 200 years ago.


    b. A thief stole my purse.


    c. The police will arrest the robbers.


    d. They produce cars in this factory.


    e. They serve breakfast at eight o’clock every day.


    f. People throw away tones of rubbish every day.


    g. They make coffee in Brazil.


    h. Someone stole Jim’s bike lat night.


    6. Rewrite these sentences in the passive voice.

    a. They will build a new bridge next year.


    b. Brian Brody directed The Ultimate Space Adventure.


    c. Pierre Matie will design her costume.


    d. Someone found my wallet.


    e. One of the students broke the window.


    f. They will deliver my computer on Monday.


    g. Mary invited Paul to her birthday party.


    h. British astronomers discovered a new planet.


    7. Form the question.

    a. Paper is made from wood. Is paper made from wood ?

    b. The telephone was invented by Mr Bell. ___________________________________________?

    c. This picture was painted by Peter. ___________________________________________?

    d. The thieves will be arrested by the police. ___________________________________________?

    e. Champagne is made in France. ___________________________________________?

    f. The letters will be sent next week. ___________________________________________?

    g. The animals are fed three times a day. ___________________________________________?

    h. This article was written by Stanley. ___________________________________________?

    thanks for reading

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