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Forming Passive Sentences
Normal sentences in English are in active voice.
In active sentences the subject of the sentence is the actor of the verb or the doer of the action. In the above sentence,the subject Bill is the actor of the verb or the one who kicked the ball. The direct object the ball is the receiver of the verb action.
• Bill kicked the ball.
In passive sentences the subject ofthe sentence is the receiver of the action.
The ball was kicked by Bill.
In the above sentence, the ball is the receiver of the action and is the subject of the sentence. Bill, the actor of the verbis the object of the preposition by.
Steps to Form a Passive Sentence
To form a passive sentence from an active sentence:
1. Move the receiver of the action from the direct object position of thesentence to the subject position of the sentence.
2. Insert the verb BE in agreement in number with the new subject and in the appropriate tense.
3. Change the verb to its past participle form.
4.Optionally place the actor of the verb in the object position after the preposition by.
• The boys ate the pie.
• The pie was eaten (by the boys).
Tense Active Voice Passive Voice
Present The boyseat the pie. The pie is eaten by the boys
Present progressive The boys are eating the pie The pie is being eaten by the boys
Present perfect The boys have eaten the pie The pie has been eaten bythe boys
Past The boys ate the pie The pie was eaten by the boys
Past progressive The boys were eating the pie The pie was being eaten by the boys
Past perfect The boys had eaten the pie The pie hadbeen eaten by the boys
Future The boys will eat the pie The pie will be eaten by the boys
Future The boys are going to eat the pie. The pie is going to be eaten by the boys
Future perfect The boyswill have eaten the pie The pie will have been eaten by the boys
The passive voice can also be used with modals
Present modals
Active The boys can eat the pie
Passive The pie can be eaten by the...
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