Passive Voice: Verb Forms

Normally we make passive forms of a verb by using tenses of the auxiliary be followed by the past participle (=pp) of the verb. Here is a list of all the passive voice forms of an ordinary English verb with examples.

 Tense  Structure  Example
 Simple present  am/are/is + pp

 Spanish is spoken here.

 Present Continuous  am/are/is being + pp  Building is being painted.
 Simple past was/were + pp  I was invited to the party.
 Past Continuous  was/were being + pp  He was being manhandled.
 Present perfect  have/has been + pp  Kevin has been promoted.
 Past perfect  had been + pp  Book had been stolen.
 Simple future  will be + pp  You will be informed.
 Future perfect  will have been + pp  It will have been done tomorrow

Future progressive passives (will be being + pp) and perfect progressive passives (e.g. has been being + pp) are uncommon.

Examples of passive infinitives: (to) be taken; (to) haven been invited.

Examples of passive – ing forms: being watched; having been invited.

Note that verbs made up of more than one word can have passive voice forms if they are transitive.

He does not like being looked at.

            She needs to be taken care of.

            He hates being made a fool of.

           The furniture was broken up for firewood. 

Verbs Taking Direct & Indirect Objects 

When verbs that take both a direct and an indirect object in the active voice are changed to the passive voice, either object may become the subject of the Passive verb, while the other is retained.

 Active Voice  Passive Voice

 The guard refused him admittance.

 Admittance was refused him by the guard. OR

 He was refused admittance by guard.

 Mr. Croos teaches us Biology.

 We are taught Biology by Mr. Croos. OR

 Biology is taught us by Mr. Croos.

 The peon handed her a letter.

 A letter was handed her by the peon OR

 She was handed a letter by the peon.