Passive voice

Урок 69. Английский язык 8 класс ФГОС

Знакомство с пассивными структурами проходит через беседу дружелюбного Майка и хитрого Джона. Далее в уроке рассматриваются отличия пассивного залога от активного, а также все временные формы пассива. Помните, что если вы хотите указать исполнителя действия, необходимо использовать предлог by, а если средство исполнения действия, то with. В практическом задании учащимся предлагается переделать «пассивные» газетные заголовки в активные. Во втором задании необходимо переделать текст об известном фильме «Пираты Карибского моря» в пассивном залоге.

Конспект урока "Passive voice"

Mike: Are you coming to Tom’s party at the weekend?

John: Unfortunately, I haven’t been invited.

Mike: Then you can go to the swimming pool.

John: The swimming pool is being cleaned now, so it’s closed.

Mike: Well, the new movie will be released on Saturday.

John: I know, I know… but all the tickets were sold out yesterday!

Mike: Ok, friend, I’ll keep you a company then. Any ideas of what we can do together?

John: Yeah…I was asked to tidy the room by my mum. Will you help me, friend?

Today we are going to look at the Passive Voice in English.

By the end of this lesson you will have a good understanding of when to use the Passive voice and how to form the passive sentences.

So let’s get started.

A sentence generally begins with the person who does the action - subject, then goes the verb and the object or person that the action is performed on. This is called an “Active” sentence.

If we start the sentence with the object or person that the action is performed on, we form a “Passive” sentence.

We use the Passive:

when the subject is unknown, unimportant or obvious from the context.


The swimming pool is being cleaned now. (we don’t know who is cleaning it - unknown subject)

All the tickets were sold out yesterday. (unimportant subject)

I haven’t been invited to Tom’s party. (by Tom - obvious subject)

We also use the passive form when we are interested more in the action itself, not WHO performs it, such as in news reports, formal notices, instructions, processes, headlines, advertisements, etc.


Taking pictures is not allowed. (written notice)

The local bank was robbed this morning. (news report)

Breakfast is served between 7-10.30 a.m. (formal notice)

to make statements more formal or polite.

E.g. The car hasn’t been serviced. (more polite)

You haven’t been serviced the car. (less polite)

to put emphasis on the subject.

E.g. The new hospital will be opened by the Mayor.


We form the passive with the verb to be and the 3rd form of the main verb (past participle).

You have to be careful because the form of to be needs to be put in all the different tenses!



Active Voice


Passive Voice

Present Simple


She sends emails every day. 


The emails are sent every day.

Present Continuous


She is sending an email now.


The email is being sent now.

Past Simple


She sent an email.


The email was sent.

Past Continuous


She was sending an email.


The email was being sent.

Future Simple


She will send an email.


The email will be sent.

Present Perfect


She has sent an email.


The email has been sent.

Past Perfect


She had sent an email.


The email had been sent.



She has to send emails.


The emails have to be sent.



She should send an email.


The email should be sent.

Changing from Active into Passive

When a sentence is turned from active into passive:

the object of the active sentence becomes the subject in the passive sentence.

Remember that only verbs that take an object (transitive verbs) can become passive verbs:


Active: Steven Spielberg directed the film.

Passive: The film was directed by Steven Spielberg.

But: They slept well. (The verb sleep in this sentence is intransitive; not followed by an object. The sentence cannot be changed into the passive).

Some transitive verbs, such as have, fit, resemble, suit, etc. cannot be changed into the passive.

E.g. She resembles her dad in many ways.

With the verbs which take two objects such as give, tell, send, bring, show, offer, pay, buy, take, allow we can make two different passive sentences:



Tom gave me the CD.


a) The CD was given to me by Tom.

b) I was given the CD by Tom.

The subject of the active sentence becomes the agent of the passive sentence and is either introduced with the preposition by or omitted.

Remember that we use by + agent to say WHO or WHAT carries out the action!

But we use with + instrument/material/ingredient to say what means the agent used to do something.

E.g. The cake was baked by Sandra.

The cake was decorated with flowers. or It was made with eggs, flour and butter.

Let’s practice using this rule.

Fill in by or with.

Now check yourselves.

The song was performed by Rihanna.

My hair was cut by a top stylist.

The bill can be paid with a credit card.

The phone was answered by his colleague.

The meal is eaten with chopsticks.

The door cannot be opened with this key.

The agent is used in the passive sentence when it is a specific or an important person:

E.g. The building was designed by a famous architect.

The story was written by Frank Wood.

When the agent is easily understood/ unimportant/ unknown or referred to by words such as people, they, one, somebody, etc. we do not normally use it.



The police have arrested the thief.


The thief has been arrested. (easily understood, only the police can arrest someone.)


Somebody pushed him.


He was pushed. (by somebody is omitted – unknown agent)

Rewrite the newspaper headlines as complete sentences.

Now check yourselves.

Rewrite the following text in the passive.

Now check yourselves.

The series of the hit fantasy action films The Pirates of the Caribbean were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Rob Marshall was invited to direct the film by Bruckheimer.

A fourth film, subtitled On Stranger Tides was released in 2011 by Walt Disney Pictures.

The film was given excellent reviews by most critics. or Excellent reviews were given to the film by most critics.

The public was impressed by the film too.

Over 1 billion dollars had been made at the box office within 3 weeks of its release.

A fifth film Dead Men Tell No Tales will be released in 2017.

The same actors have already been asked to star in the movie by Bruckheimer.

That’s all for today.

Hopefully the lesson was useful and informative to you.

Practise your grammar skills because practice makes perfect!


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