English Passive Voice

    Beginner+ English - Level A2


    This unit introduces the passive voice in English, compares active and passive sentences, and discusses when to use each.



    The Convention Center and Riverwalk at night in Tampa, Florida.

    Back to the Course

    English A2

    Passive Voice

    “is done” & “was done”

    In English, sentences can be either in the active voice or in the passive voice.
    An active sentence typically signifies a person actively doing something. In a passive sentence, a person has something done to them.

    Examples for active sentences: 

    John read the book.
    Lucy made the appointment.
    called the office.
    He cooked lunch.
    We drove to work.

    When formulating sentences in the passive voice, we typically use “is/are done” and “was/were done”. To formulate sentences in the passive voice, use “to be” + a verb in the past participle.

    Examples for passive sentences: 

    The book was read to John.
    The appointment was made for Lucy.
    The office was called.
    Lunch was cooked.
    We were driven to work by my friend.

    To formulate sentences in the passive voice, we use the same formula “to be”, + verb in the past participle.


    Additional Activities

    Review the lesson above and complete additional activities to build your understanding of this topic. For the activities listed below, log in for additional access. It's free.

    Online Language Classes with an Instructor

    Online Language Training

    Start improving your learning experience by working with one of our incredible language instructors. Visit the shop today.

    officebusinessAsset 97@250x-8Business Language Training

    Start learning a foreign language at work with your team. Discover how CORE Languages can support an array of language services for your business.

    CORE Compass BlogDiscover the Compass Blog

    From PR to news updates to teaching tips and learning topics, let the Compass Blog be your guide to language services you need.