PASSIVE VOICE

The passive voice is formed with the verb “ be” and the past participle of the
other verb. The object of the verb becomes the subject in a passive sentence:
Present Simple We build hundreds of houses every year.
Passive Hundreds of houses are built every year.
Past Simple The police arrested one protester.
Passive One protester was arrested.
Will They will play the match on Wednesday evening.
Passive The match will be played on Wednesday evening.
Present Perfect We have chosen Helen as the new president.
Passive Helen has been chosen as the new president.
Present Continuous The authorities are questioning two men.
Passive Two men are being questioned by the authorities.
Past Continuous I was writing an e-mail.
Passive An e-mail was being written.

USE
We are going to use passive to put emphasis on important information:
Hundreds of houses are built every year by the Government.
In this sentence, it is what was done, the number of houses built, which is given
emphasis (emphasized information usually comes at the beginning of the
sentence). Compare:
The Government has built hundreds of houses this year.
In this sentence, more emphasis is given to who did it, the Government.

Passive tends to be used more in writing, and in formal speech.

NOTES
1.-Passive sentences sometimes include information about who did it. This
person, thing, organization, etc. is called the agent and is introduced by the
preposition “by”:
Stones were thrown by angry football fans.

However, most sentences do not include the agent.

2.-Passive sentences may include information about what was used to perform an
action. This is called the instrument and is introduced using “with”:

The windows were broken with a baseball bat.

3.-To be born is passive form in English but does not have an obvious passive
meaning:
I was born in Uruguay.