You are on page 1of 3

Active / Passive Verb Forms

Sentences can be active or passive. Therefore, tenses also have "active forms" and
"passive forms." You must learn to recognize the difference to successfully speak
English.

Active Form
In active sentences, the thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence and the
thing receiving the action is the object. Most sentences are active.
[Thing doing action] + [verb] + [thing receiving action]
Examples:

Passive Form
In passive sentences, the thing receiving the action is the subject of the sentence and
the thing doing the action is optionally included near the end of the sentence. You can
use the passive form if you think that the thing receiving the action is more important
or should be emphasized. You can also use the passive form if you do not know who
is doing the action or if you do not want to mention who is doing the action.
[Thing receiving action] + [be] + [past participle of verb] + [by] + [thing doing action]
Examples:

Present Recently. John has been Recently. John is At 8:00 PM tonight. John will At 8:00 PM tonight.Active / Passive Overview Tense Active Passive Simple Once a week. Simple Past Sam repaired the car. cleaned by Tom. Future At 8:00 PM tonight. written by Sarah. the Continuous going to be washing the dishes are going to be being be going to dishes. being done by John. the work has been Perfect doing the work. 5:00 PM. Present Right now. the Continuous be washing the dishes. Sarah is writing the Right now. Future At 8:00 PM tonight. The salesman was helping the The customer was being Past customer when the thief came helped by the salesman when Continuous into the store. many tourists. the thief came into the store. made by Sally tonight. Chef Jones had been The restaurant's fantastic Past Perfect preparing the restaurant's dinners had been being Continuous fantastic dinners for two years preparedby Chef Jones for two before he moved to Paris. The car was repaired by Sam. Tom cleans the Once a week. Continuous George had repaired many Many cars had been Past Perfect cars before he received his repaired by George before he mechanic's license. . Simple Future Sally is going to make a A beautiful dinner is going to be be going to beautiful dinner tonight. Present Many tourists have visited that That castle has been visited by Perfect castle. washed by John. Simple Future Someone will finish the work The work will be finished by will by 5:00 PM. the house is Present house. the letter is being Continuous letter. dishes will be being washed by will John. years before he moved to Paris. received his mechanic's license.

completed before the deadline.Future They will have completed the The project will have been Perfect project before the deadline. Would My mother would always The pies would always be Always make the pies. Future The famous artist will have The mural will have been being Perfect been painting the mural for painted by the famous artist for Continuous over six months by the time it is over six months by the time it is will finished. Future The famous artist is going to The mural is going to have Perfect have been painting the mural been being painted by the Continuous for over six months by the time famous artist for over six months be going to it is finished. going to be made by Sally Was Going to tonight. finished by 5:00 PM. Would Future in the I thought Sally was going to I thought a beautiful dinner was Past make a beautiful dinner tonight. . finished. deadline. Future in the I knew John would finish the I knew the work would be Past work by 5:00 PM. Jerry used to pay the bills. by the time it is finished. The bills used to be paid by Used to Jerry. made by my mother. will Future They are going to have The project is going to have Perfect completed the project before been completed before the be going to the deadline.