In order to effectively communicate in English, it’s important to understand the distinction between active and passive sentences.
An active sentence is, for example: “The dog chased the cat.”
In this sentence, the subject “dog” is performing the action of chasing, and the object “cat” is receiving the action.
A passive sentence is, for example: “The cat was chased by the dog.”.
Here, the subject “cat” is not performing the action. The cat is the one being chased, and the dog is the one performing the action.
In general the sentence structure is:
Active: Subject + Verb + Object
Passive: Object + Form of be + Verb (past participle form) + by + (thing doing the action)
Here’s a summary:
|Present simple||The dog chases the mailman||The mailman is chased by the dog|
|Present continuous||He is playing the piano||The piano is being played by him|
|Past simple||I wrote a letter yesterday||A letter was written by me yesterday|
In order to change from an active sentence to a passive in present simple we do like this:
Subject + Verb + Object → Object + to be + Verb (past participle) + by + (thing doing the action).
Have a look at the examples:
They sell tickets at the box office → Tickets are sold at the box office.
She waters the plants every morning → The plants are watered by her every morning.
They recycle paper at the office → Paper is recycled at the office.
He walks the dog every morning → The dog is walked by him every morning.
The restaurant makes fresh sushi every day → Fresh sushi is made by the restaurant everyday
If we want to change an active sentence to a passive in present continuous we do like this:
Subject + Verb + Object → Object + to be + being (past participle) + by + (thing doing the action)
The children are learning new words → New words are being learned by the children
The chef is cooking dinner → Dinner is being cooked by the chef
She is writing a novel → A novel is being written by her.
They are cleaning the garage → The garage is being cleaned by them
The teacher is correcting the exams → The exams are being corrected by the teacher.
When we want to change from an active sentence to a passive in past simple we do like this:
Subject + Verb + Object → Object + to be (past) + Verb (past participle) + by + (thing doing the action).
He painted the room last weekend → The room was painted by him last weekend.
They closed the store at 9pm → The store was closed at 9pm.
The company launched a new product last month → A new product was launched by the company last month.
He finished the project on time → The project was finished on time.
He lost his keys yesterday → The keys were lost by him yesterday.
Now go to the next lesson to practice 👉