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Grammar Review 3 – Passive Voice


We form the passive with the verbto be and the past participle of the main verb.
to be + past participle (pp)
Study the following examples to see how the passive is formed in different tenses.


Tense/Verb Form Active Passive
Present Simple They develop films here. Films are developed here.
Present Continuous They are developing a film now. A film is being developed now.
Past Simple They developed this film yesterday. The film was developed yesterday.
Past Continuous They were developinga film when I arrived. A film was being developed when I arrived.
Present Perfect They have already developed ten films. Ten films have already been developed.
Past Perfect They had developed fifty films by two o’clock. Fifty films had been developed by two o’clock.
Future Simple They will develop the film tomorrow. The film will be developed tomorrow.
Conditionals They would develop the film if they had time. The film would be developed if they had time.
Modals They must develop the film by noon. The film must developedby noon.


Ex.1. Put the verbs in brackets into a suitable passive tense, as in the example.

1. Two men were seen (see) running out of the bank yesterday morning.

2. The flowers _____ (already/water).

3. The Smiths’ house _____ (pain) at the moment.

4. The rubbish _____ (already/collect) when I left for work.

5. The note _____ (could/not/read) because the handwriting was very messy.

6. Our exams _____ (not/mark) yet.

7. His car _____ (wash) every Saturday.

8. The window _____ (break) before the children arrived.

9. The house _____ (would/sell) if it were not so expansive.

10. Mary _____ (invite) to the party but unfortunately she couldn’t make it.

Ex.2 Rewrite the following in the passive.

1. Who invented the telephone?

2. The thief stole all the money in the till.

3. Who has written this poem?

4. When will they hold the annual dance?

5. Many tourists visit the Eiffel Tower every year.

6. Did you give the parcel to Susie?

7. The fire damaged many buildings in the city centre.

8. The repairman is fixing the washing machine.

9. Has Victoria sent out the invitations?

10. They will open the new library to the public in September.

11. We took many of these photographs when we were in India.

12. They will dedicate the new university building to Dr Peters.

13. Will she redecorate her flat in May?

14. Dora sold three sculptures at the gallery opening.

15. Who made this delicious chocolate cheesecake?


Personal/Impersonal Construction The verbsthink, believe, say, report, know, expect,etc. are used in the following passive patterns in personal and impersonal constructions. activePeople say that he has won the lottery. passive a) It is said(that) he has won the lottery. (impersonal construction) b) He is said to have won the lottery. (personal construction) active Peopleexpectthat Sue Peters will break the world record. passive a) It is expected (that) Sue Peters will break the world record. b) Sue Peters is expected to break the world record. active People believed that he sold the painting. passivea) It is believed (that) hesold the painting. b) He is believed to have sold the painting


Ex.3 Rewrite the following sentences in the passive using personal and impersonal constructions, as in the example.

e.g. People say that she has millions in the bank.
It … is said (that) she has millions in the bank……
She … is said to have millions in the bank.

1. The newscaster reported that the President resigned last night.

2. People believe that an electrical problem caused the fire.

3. Everyone thinks that he stole the money.

4. People know that she has lived in many countries.

5. People expect that he will win an award.


Causative Form We use have + object + past participle to say that we arranged for someone to do something for us. Sue hired a painter to paint the house ® Sue had the house painted. (She didn’t paint it herself – the painter did it.) The order of words (i.e. have + object + past participle) must not be changed because if it is, the meaning of the sentence will be changed. He had the tyres changed. = He employed someone to change the tyres. But: He had changed the tyres. = He (himself) changed the tyres. Study following:
Present Simple Shemakes her clothes. She has her clothes made.
Present Continuous She is making her clothes. She is having her clothes made.
Past Simple She made her clothes. She had her clothes made.
Past Continuous She was making her clothes. She was having her clothes made.
Future Simple She will make her clothes. She will have her clothes made.
Present Perfect She has made her clothes. Shehas had her clothes made.
Infinitive She must make her clothes. She must have her clothes made.


We can also use causative form to express that something unpleasant happened to someone. Tom had his house burgled last month. (+Tom’s house was burgled. This unpleasant incident happened to him.

Ex.4 Complete the sentences by putting the verb” have” into the correct form.

1. Emily ….. her newspaper delivered every morning by her neighbour’s son.

2. The Campbells ….. their kitchen painted at the moment.

3. I ….. my hair cut short last week because I needed a change.

4. He ….. his car serviced by the mechanic next Tuesday.

5. She ….. her carpets fitted yesterday when I called.

6. I ….. just …..my picture taken by a professional photographer.

7. Mark ….. some apple trees planted in a week’s time.

8. Steve ….. his wallet stolen while he was doing the shopping.

9. I ….. my jeans shortened tomorrow.

10. I always ….. my rubbish collected on Fridays.

Ex. 5 Each of the following people had something unpleasant happen to them last week. Make sentences using the causative form, as in the example.

1. Meg (her flat/break into) by burglars.
Meg had her flat broken into by burglars.

2. Gary (his motorcycle/steal) from outside the disco.

3. The MacDoyles (basement/flood) by heavy rain.

4. Robin (her favourite dress/tear) by her friend.

5. Thomas (his CD player/break) by his little brother.

6. Neil (house/strike) by lighting.

7. Mary (window/smash) by a ball.

8. Charles (car/damage) by a falling tree.

Ex. 6 Rewrite the following sentences in the causative form, as in the example.

1. Holly is going to ask the seamstress to sew her dress. She is going to have her dress sewn (by the seamstress)…….

2. Someone has tidied the garden for Mark.

3. When will they fix his telephone?

4. Pat pays someone to clean the windows every week.

5. Can you tell someone to move those boxes?

6. When will they deliver Dan’s sofa?

7. Sally is going to ask the travel agent to book the tickets.

8. Howard should ask someone to deliver the package.

9. When will you service the car?

10. Pay someone to make the curtains for you.

11. Someone has shortened Alison’s skirt.



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8. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners. Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.

9. Англо-русский полный юридический словарь. English-Russian Comprehensive Law Dictionary. А. С. Мамулян, С. Ю. Кашкин. ЭКСМО, 2006

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