Active and Passive Verb Forms

Active and Passive Verb Forms

education gateway active and passive verb forms

Active and Passive Verb Forms

In this article we will learn you some more about Active and Passive Verb Forms. Sentences can be active or passive. Therefore, tenses also have “active forms” and “passive forms.” You must learn to recognise the difference to successfully speak English.

Read the following sentences:

He is writing a letter. (Active)

A letter is being written by him. (Passive)

You will have noticed that the verb changes its form when the sentence is changed from the active voice to the passive voice. The passive form of the verb is constructed by putting appropriate auxiliary verbs before the past participle form of the active verb.

 

The Theory of Active and Passive Verb Forms

Active Form

In active sentences, the thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence and the thing receiving the action is the object. Most sentences are active. Active and Passive Verb Forms.

 

Passive Form

In passive sentences, the thing receiving the action is the subject of the sentence and the thing doing the action is optionally included near the end of the sentence. You can use the passive form if you think that the thing receiving the action is more important or should be emphasised. You can also use the passive form if you do not know who is doing the action or if you do not want to mention who is doing the action.

 

Here is some theory about the Active Form:

[Thing doing action] + [verb] + [thing receiving action]

Active and Passive verb forms

And here is some theory about the Passive Form:

[Thing receiving action] + [be] + [past participle of verb] + [by] + [thing doing action]

Active and Passive Verb Forms.

The Present Continuous Tense

When the active verb is in the present continuous tense 

Active verb: is/am/are writing

He is writing a letter.

Passive verb: is/am/are being written

A letter is being written by him.

The Present Perfect Tense

When the active verb is in the present perfect tense

Active verb: has/have written

He has written a letter.

Passive verb: has/have been written

A letter has been written by him.

The Simple Past Tense

When the active verb is in the simple past tense

Active verb: wrote

He wrote a letter.

Passive verb: was/were written

A letter was written by him.

The Past Continuous Tense

When the active verb is in the past continuous tense

Active verb: was/were writing

He was writing a letter.

Passive verb: was/were being written

A letter was being written by him.

The Past Perfect Tense

When the active verb is in the past perfect tense

Active verb: had written

He had written a letter.

Passive verb: had been written

A letter had been written by him.

The Simple Future Tense

When the active verb is in the simple future tense

Active verb: will/shall write

He will write a letter.

Passive verb: will/shall be written

A letter will be written by him.

The Future Perfect Tense 

When the active verb is in the future perfect tense 

Active verb: will/shall have written

He will have written a letter.

Passive verb: will/shall have been written

A letter will have been written by him.

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