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