Passive Voice

Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Passive Voice”, in order to:

  • go though many Passive Voice examples
  • understand Passive Voice grammar
  • complete Passive Voice exercises
  • remember the Passive Voice rules
  • visualise Passive Voice tenses

Video Script:

Hello and welcome to this video!
We’re going to run through the passive voice together.
Now you have to bear in mind that the active voice is often referred to as the normal voice.
That’s the voice that you will use a lot.
However the passive voice is necessary as sometimes we don’t always have the active subject.
The active subject might be unknown.
So let’s run through some lingo
before highlighting when to use
the passive voice
So back to the active voice:
This is the structure of a simple sentence.
So with one clause we’ll have the subject followed by the verb and an object.
In this sentence the object receives the action of the verb.
Sandra has bought the tickets.
Now all those elements are important in the active voice.
However in the passive voice things change.
So we’re going to use the example.
We will switch the order and change the tense.
So as you can see the subject of my active voice,
the active subject is now the passive agent
That’s introduced by the preposition “by”
by Sandra
The subject becomes the passive agent.
The object becomes the passive subject (the subject of my passive voice)
The tense here changes slightly.
But we’ll see that in the second half of this video.
Here as you can see I’ve placed the passive agent between brackets.
Why is it in brackets?
That’s because it’s not always important in the passive voice.
So let’s go back now to our three bullet points.
When do I use the passive voice?
I use the passive voice when I want to give all the importance to the active
So the importance is given to the object of my active voice.
This is now at the beginning of my passive sentence.
My passive voice: the importance is given here to “the tickets”
The active subject can also be unknown.
In this example it’s not true but I can simply remove it if I don’t have that information.
I can simply say this:
The tickets have been bought.
Maybe a clear example would be:
I had my wallet stolen.
This is passive voice because I do not have the subject of that action.
So I do not have the active subject available.
Finally when do I use the passive voice
I use it simply when I want structure variety.
So we said before the active voice is what I will use quite naturally.
It’s very common.
So if I want more variety I will then use this passive voice.
And I also use the passive voice for flow.
So if I want to take the object from my previous sentence and transform it into my subject
It gives more flow to my written work or my speech.
Just before we head to the second part of this video, here are a few hints for you here.
Please review your past participles, notably for the spelling of the irregular past participles.
Please go over your irregular verbs.
We’ll be using them a lot.
And finally if you don’t know all your tenses off by heart, please do a brief tense review before watching the second half of this lesson.
So now let’s look at the transformations.
When going from the active voice to the passive voice what happens to the tense?
What tense should I use?
What verbal form do I have?
It’s very simple.
In this particular example we have no passive agent.
So we’re just going to have our subject.
So in the passive voice it will be the passive subject plus the axillary “to be” plus the past participle of the main verb.
In this particular case our main verb is “to extend”.
So the past participle is “extended”.
So this is my active voice here, in black.
In purple, we have indicated the tense which is used.
Then we’re going to use that tense here for the auxiliary “to be” in our passive, plus the past participle.
So: “extended”, in this particular example
First tense: simple present
They extend her visa. (Active voice)
We create the passive voice:
Auxiliary > simple present > “is” + “extended” (past participle)
Her visa is extended.
Same formula for all the tenses.
Number 2: present continuous
They are extending her visa.
Her visa is being extended.
Number three: simple past
They extended her visa.
Her visa was extended.
Number 4: present perfect
They have extended her visa.
Her visa has been extended.
Number 5: past perfect
They had extended her visa.
Her visa had been extended.
Number six: simple future
They will extend her visa.
Her visa will be extended.
Number seven: future perfect
They will have extended her visa.
Her visa will have been extended.
Number eight: simple conditional
They would extend her visa.
Her visa would be extended.
Number nine: conditional perfect
They would have extended her visa.
Her visa would have been extended.
That it! That’s all you need to know!
Thanks for watching!

Grammar Quiz:

Keywords listed in English:

  • passive voice
  • active voice
  • tense transformation
  • irregular verbs
  • tense review
  • active agent
  • active subject
  • structure variety
  • passive agent

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