Passive Voice (Unit 15)

Using the active voice, you concentrate on the person or thing carrying out the action.
Jenny closes the door.
Kevin hits Tom.

Using the passive voice, you concentrate on the person or thing affected by the action.
The door is closed by Jenny.
Tom is hit by Kevin.

As you can see, an important part of the passive is the past participle.

When employing regular verbs, you just have to add ‘–ed’ to the infinitive.
to close – closed, to call – called, to cook – cooked

When employing irregular verbs, you take the past participle – usually the third form listed.
to write – written, to take – taken, to bring – brought

Another element is the verb ‘to be’ in the right tense.

So: [size=150][color=blue]passive voice = person or thing affected + to be + past participle (+ by performer)[/size]

Let’s take the sentence “Mike writes a letter.”

Simple Present Passive
A letter is written by Mike.

Simple Past
Active: Mike wrote a letter.
Passive: A letter was written by Mike.

Present Perfect
Mike has written a letter.
Passive: A letter has been written by Mike.

Future I
Mike will write a letter.
Passive: A letter will be written by Mike.

If there are any questions, go ahead and ask them! :smiley:

In Unit 16 you will learn all about the Present Perfect tense.

1 Like

[size=100]More forms:

Past perfect
Active: Mike had written a letter
Passive: A letter [color=brown]had been [color=blue]written by Mike

Future perfect
Active: Mike will have written a letter
Passive: A letter [color=brown]will have been [color=blue]written by Mike

Simple present continuous
Active: Mike is writing a letter.
Passive: A letter [color=brown]is being [color=blue]written by Mike

Simple past continuous
Active: Mike was writing a letter
Passive: A letter [color=brown]was being [color=blue]written by Mike

Present perfect continuous
Active: Mike has been writing a letter
Passive: A letter [color=brown]has been being [color=blue]written by Mike

Past perfect continuous
Active: Mike had been writing a letter
Passive: A letter [color=brown]had been being [color=blue]written by Mike

Future continuous
Active: Mike will be writing a letter
Passive: A letter[color=brown] will be being [color=blue]written by Mike

Future perfect continuous
Active: Mike will have been writing a letter
Passive: A letter [color=brown]will have been being [color=blue]written by Mike[/size]


Thanks for your contribution. Just a word of warning: you won’t find that the Present Perfect,the Past perfect and the Future Perfect continuous passive forms are really used in practice. The future perfect would be: will have been written and of course don’t forget the present perfect: has been written.


Thank for your note

What’s your mention ?


Hi Soli,

Sorry, I don’t understand your question about ‘mention’.


Hi Alan,

Because the future perfect and the present perfect tense have mentioned above. You re-write again so I don’t know what’s your mean ?


Hi Soli,

I mentioned those two examples because in your first note you have written:

This should be: will HAVE written and

will HAVE been written

Also you did not include the Present Perfect Simple tenses, which would be: has written and has been written.


Hi Alan,
:smiley: Thank a lot.

I really find hard time of understanding these passive and active, in simple present passive and present perfect. This simple present passive makes me confuse because it is present and at the same time past participle. Well you help me to understand this one and explain it to me the rules of how to use it.

Thank you very much. This program is a really big help to me in improving my grammar and enhancing my communication skills both oral and written.


hi sir.
The tense use is more diffcultly to me, I dont know when is use the passive voice, active voice…etc, and also i want to know what different of "do you know , did you know, do you have know and have you know. Pls explain to me .
Tks a lot
Rowin :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


In this sentences in active :Kevin hit[color=red]s Tom.
passive:Tom is hit by Kevin. why you wrote this word (hit) without “[color=red]s” ?


“He thought a bomb was going to blow him up.”


how can i make it into a passive. pls…


Hi Reign18

Welcome to the forum.

You can make that sentence passive this way:

“He thought he was going to be blown up (by a bomb).”

Hi Coconut

The only time you add “s” to the end of a verb is in the third person singular of the simple present tense in the active voice. You add “s” to the end of the base form.

Your sentence is confusing because the verb “hit” is irregular. The base form, the past form and the past participle are all the same:

For the simple present tense, third person singular in the active voice, you add “s” to the base form of the verb:

  • Kevin hits Tom.

To make that sentence passive, you need to use the simple present tense form of “be” in the third person singular (“is”) and the past participle “hit”:

  • Tom is hit by Kevin.

Hi Yankee,

what is the meaning of this sentence (third person singular)?
Do you mean the third form listed (past participle)?

Many thanks,

hi its so use ful i need to learn english very well

Hi Coconut

I = first person singular
you = second person singular and plural
he = third person singular
she = third person singular
it = third person singular
we = first person plural
they = third person plural

The following words are also examples “third person singular”:

  • sentence, mountain, Mr. Smith, coconut, tree, pencil, noun, air

In the simple present tense, when the subject of a sentence is third person singular, the form of the verb must also be the third person singular form.

Yes, the “past participle” is sometimes also called “the third form” of the verb. For example:


write = the base form of the verb
written = the past participle (sometimes also called “the third form”)

Hi Yankee,
Your explain was very easy and simple realy I have enjoyed when I read it also I understood it.

Many thanks Yankee,

p.p past verb
acted acted act
added added add
agreed agreed agree
allowed allowed allow
answered answered answer
arrived arrived arrive
asked asked ask
awoken awoke awake
awaked awaked awake
backed backed back
baked baked bake
born bore bear
borne bore bear
become became become
begun began begin
believed believed believe
belonged belonged belong
blown blew blow
boxed boxed box
broken broke break
brightened brightened brighten
brought brought bring
built built build
bumped bumped bump
bought bought buy
called called call
carried carried carry
caught caught catch
changed changed change
chased chased chase
cheered cheered cheer
chosen chose choose
cleaned cleaned clean
climbed climbed climb
closed closed close
coloured coloured colour
come came come
compared compared compare
completed completed complete
contained cantained contain
controlled controlled control
cooked cooked cook
copied copied copy
corrected corrected correct
cost cost cost
counted counted count
covered covered cover
crashed crashed crash
creaked creaked creak
crossed crossed cross
cried cried cry
cut cut cut
danced danced dance
decided decided decide
died died die
dug dug dig
dirtied dirtied dirty
divided divided divide
done did do
downed downed down
drawn drew draw
dreamt dreamt dream
drunk drank drink
driven drove drive
dropped dropped drop
dried dried dry
eaten ate eat
ended ended end
enjoyed enjoyed enjoy
excited excited excite
exclaimed exclaimed exclaim
excused excused excuse
fallen fell fall
favoured favoured favour
feared feared fear
fed fed feed
felt felt feel
ferried ferried ferry
fought fought fight
filled filled fill
found found find
finished finished finish
fished fished fish
flown flew fly
folded folded fold
followed followed follow
forgotten forgot forget
forwarded forwarded forward
frightened frightened frighten
gotten got get
gotten up got up get up
given gave give
gone went go
governed governed govern
grown grew grow
guarded guarded guard
happened happened happen
headed headed head
heard heard hear
helped helped help
hidden hid hide
hit hit hit
held held hold
hoped hoped hope
hurried hurried hurry
hurt hurt hurt
imagined imagine imagine
included included include
introduced introduced introduce
invented invented invent
invited invited invite
irrigated irrigated irrigate
joined joined join
jumped jumped jump
kept kept keep
kicked kicked kick
killed killed kill
known knew know
landed landed land
lasted lasted last
laughed laughed laugh
laid laid lay
learnt learnt learn
left left leave
let let let
lied lied lie
lain lay lie
lifted lifted lift
lit lit light
liked liked like
listened listened listen
lived lived live
locked locked lock
looked looked look
lost lost lose
loved loved love
made made make
married married marry
matched matched match
meant meant mean
measured measured measure
met met meet
melted melted melt
mended mended mend
milked milked milk
minded minded mind
missed missed miss
mixed mixed mix
moved moved move
named named name
needed needed need
opened opened open
ordered ordered order
owned owned own
packed packed pack
painted painted paint
passed passed pass
paid paid pay
phoned phoned phone
pinched pinched pinch
planned planned plan
played played play
pleased pleased please
pointed pointed point
posted posted post
poured poured pour
prayed prayed pray
preferred preferred prefer
prepared prepared prepare
pretended pretended pretend
pulled pulled pull
pushed pushed push
put put put
questioned questioned question
rained rained rain
reached reached reach
read read read
realized realized realize
remembered remembered remember
replied replied reply
reported reported report
rewarded rewarded reward
ridden rode ride
righted righted right
rolled rolled roll
rounded rounded round
rowed rowed row
run ran run
sailed sailed sail
saved saved save
saved saved save
sawed sawed saw
said said say
scored scored score
seen saw see
seemed seemed seem
sold sold sell
sent sent send
set set set
sewed sewed sew
shaken shook shake
shined shined shine
shot shot shoot
shouted shouted shout
shown showed show
signed signed sign
sung sang sing
sat sat sit
slept slept sleep
smelt smelt smell
smiled smiled smile
smoked smoked smoke
sown sowed sow
spoken spoke speak
spent spent spend
splashed splashed splash
stood stood stand
started started start
stayed stayed stay
stuck stuck stick
stopped stopped stop
studied studied study
swum swam swim
taken took take
talked talked talk
tasted tasted taste
taught taught teach
told told tell
thanked thanked thank
thought thought think
thrown threw throw
ticked ticked tick
tied tied tie
touched touched touch
traced traced trace
travelled travelled travel
tried tried try
turned turned turn
used used use
visited visited visit
waited waited wait
woken woke wake
walked walked walk
wanted wanted want
washed washed wash
watched watched watch
watered watered water
worn wore wear
weighed weighed weigh
welcomed welcomed welcome
willed willed will
won won win
winked winked wink
wondered wondered wonder
worked worked work
written wrote write
wronged wronged wrong

Dear Teacher,

when can we use have been /has been?
whats the actual situation for it to employ?