Grammar » B1+ Grammar lessons and exercises » The passive voice – all tenses » Page 3
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  • The passive voice – all tenses

    Exercise 3

    Fill in the gaps with the verbs in brackets in the correct passive voice form. Do NOT use contracted forms.

    1 I don’t like (tell) what to do.

    2 The hotel was closed because it . (renovate)

    3 I went to the doctor yesterday and I (prescribe) some medicine for my cough.

    4 My car (not fix) yet, and I need it for tomorrow.

    5 If she hadn’t insulted the police officer, she wouldn’t (arrest).

    6 She is hoping (elect) president.

    7 Last night’s fire might (cause) by lightning.

    8 Our house  (paint) so we are staying at my parents’.

    9 The museum (visit) by millions of people next year.

    10 The suspect (question) by the police at the moment.


  • The passive voice with the different tenses

    In a passive sentence, the object of an active sentence becomes the subject. Then, we have to use the verb be in the tense we need and add the past participle of the main verb after it. In a passive voice sentence, the subject is the receiver of the action, not the doer of the action.

    • They take the photos in Africa. (active)
    • The photos are taken in Africa. (passive)

    You can see how to use the passive voice with different tenses below.

    A grammar chart explaining the passive voice in all the verb tenses, comparing active and passive forms with examples like "They take the photos" and "The photos are taken."

    Download full-size image from Pinterest

    When do we use the passive voice?

    In English, we use the passive voice when we don’t know or we don’t want to talk about who or what does the action in a sentence. Check the following examples.

    • A bank was robbed yesterday. (=We don’t know who robbed the bank.)
    • He was arrested last night. (=It’s obvious that the police arrested him.)
    • I have been told that you insulted my brother. (=I don’t want to say who told me.)
    • Jurassic Park was filmed by Spielberg in 1993. (=I’m talking about Jurassic Park and not about Spielberg.)
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