We use the passive to focus on the result of the action, but not the person who is doing it. This is because we don’t know who is doing the action, it is unimportant, or because it is obvious who is doing the action.


The passive is always made up of be + past participle in its simplest form.



Present Passive:

Sb + am/is/are + past participle + ob


  1. a)The students are taken to school in a taxi.



Past Passive:

Sb + was/were + past participle + ob


  1. b)I was taken aback by what he said.



Future passive:

Sb + will + be + past participle + ob


  1. c)The exam will be written in May.


To make a past or presentcontinuous passive, we use sb + a form of be + being + past participle. We always use being in this structure, and a past participle. The first be will change to show the tense.


  1. d)The house is being built at the moment.
  2. e)The results of the election were being reported the last time I checked.


There is no future passive form because we cannot say will + be + being.


To make a perfect passive, we use sb + have/has/had + been + past participle + ob.


  1. f)The results of the exam have been released on our website.
  2. g)The students had been told about the classroom change the week before it happened.



Exercise 1.- Grammar


Choose the best option for each sentence.


  1. a)My whole family was/is born on this island.


  1. b)The school is being/wasbeing repainted at the moment.


  1. c)The roads have/had been blocked because of a protest.


  1. d)The robber was/had been arrested last week at the scene of the crime.


  1. e)The timetable will be/ will be being finalised next week before the university opens.
  2. f)Her uncle had/has been released from hospital with strict instructions to rest at home.


  1. g)His family had/has been photographed on the beach many times before the actor arrived for the holiday.


A law has/had been passed to stop parents from taking their children out of school.

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