Passive Voice Usage in English

In English, the passive voice is used when the doer of the action is generally unknown or when the focus is on the action and its result. If you want to mention who performed the action, you need to include the preposition “by.”

Using Passive Voice in English

When using the passive voice in English, one of the most important aspects to consider is the verbs. Let’s focus on the verb “clean” below:

The street is cleaned every day. / The street gets cleaned every day.

It is made of wood. / It’s made of wood.

As seen in the examples, we use the verb in its third form. In passive voice, the doer of the action is generally unknown. The emphasis is on the action taking place. Note the use of “is” in the sentence “The street is cleaned.” If we were to use “streets,” which is plural, we would need to use “are.”

The streets are cleaned every day.

Some bottles are used again.

The euro is used in many European countries.

Following this logic, we can apply the passive voice to other tenses.

Applying Passive Voice to Different Tenses

Let’s apply the passive voice to different tenses:

Past Tense:

Some bottles were used again last year.

The streets were cleaned yesterday.

Present Perfect Tense:

Rubbish has been collected.

Future Tense:

The streets will be cleaned tomorrow.

The tickets for Rome will be sold here till next week.

It’s important to note the use of “will be” with the third form of the verb in future tense. For example:

The tickets are sold here every day.

The tickets will be sold here every day.

Remember that “are” changes to “will be” in future tense.

Negative Form of Passive Voice

The negative form of passive voice can be deduced from the explanations provided above. Let’s see some examples:

Present Tense:

The euro isn’t used in England.

The street is not cleaned every day here.

Past Tense:

Rubbish weren’t collected yesterday.

The tickets weren’t sold.

While using the negative form, the third form of the verb remains the same. We only change the auxiliary verb. This detail makes it easier for us to understand the meaning.

The use of the third form of the verb indicates that the action is performed by others. Changing the auxiliary verb only indicates the time when the action was performed. For example:

“The street is cleaned every day” and “The street was cleaned every day” only differ in the auxiliary verb “was,” which represents past tense. “Is” and “was” are two forms of the same auxiliary verb. “Is” is for present tense, while “was” is for past tense.

Future Tense:

The beach will not be cleaned tomorrow.

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