Passive Voice

On this page, we will learn about passive voice, what are the active and passive verbs, what are the passive voice rules, passive voice examples, transitive and intransitive verbs, When do we use it, and when do we use the passive voice for IELTS?

Passive Voice

Passive voice is crucial for the IELTS. You must be able to utilize and comprehend a wide variety of grammar whether you speak, write, or attempt to understand texts.In this section, we will cover passive voice.

However, if Academic IELTS Task 1 includes a process diagram, the passive is particularly required for IELTS. In this instance, you will make use of it throughout your process explanation.

Therefore, we will first examine how to employ the passive voice generally before examining how it is used in Task 1.

What are the Active and Passive?

The subject performs the action of the verb when the active voice is used:

The object of the activity becomes the subject when we use the passive voice:

Active Passive
The snake bit the girl. The girl was bitten by the snake.

What are the Passive Voice Rules?

There are three steps we take to make a sentence passive:

  1. Make the sentence's object the subject by moving it. Thus, the subject becomes the object (often we exclude the object because it is not important to the sentence).
  2. Before the new object, include "by" (if you are including it in the new sentence)
  3. The verb is changed to the past participle by adding the preposition "to be" before it. The verb is then in the passive voice. Do not forget to maintain the same tense.
Active Passive
The snake (subject) bit (verb) the girl (object). The girl (new subject) was bitten (new verb form) by the snake (new object).
The girl (subject) was bitten (verb).

Since the word "bit" in this instance is in the past simple, the passive verb "to be" must also be in the past simple, as in "was."

Passive Voice Examples

Examples of how to form it in various tenses (without the object in the passive) are as follows:

Tense Active Passive
Present He eats the fruits. The fruits are eaten.
Present Continuous He is eating the fruits. The fruits are being eaten.
Present Perfect He has eaten the fruits. The fruits have been eaten.
Past He ate the fruits. The fruits ware eaten.
Past Continuous He was eating the fruits. The fruits ware being eaten.
Past Perfect He had eaten the fruits. The fruits had been eaten.
Future He will eat the fruits. The fruits will be eaten.
Future Perfect He will have eaten the fruits. The fruits will have been eaten.

Present Modal
He can eat the fruits. He can eat the fruits.
He should eat the fruits. The fruits should be eaten.
He may eat the fruits. The fruits may be eaten.

Past Modals
He could have eaten the fruits. The fruits could have been eaten.
He should have eaten the fruits. The fruits should have been eaten.
He may have eaten the fruits. The fruits may have been eaten.

Gerunds and Infinitives

The passive voice is equally appropriate for infinitive and gerund structures:

Tense Infinitive Gerund
Simple to + be + Past Participle

He wanted to be taken care of.
Being + Past Participle

Being taken care of was so kind.
Perfect to + have been + Past Participle

We were happy to have been chosen.
having been + Past Participle

We celebrated having been chosen.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

With intransitive verbs, you cannot use the passive, though.

Verbs that are transitive must take an object. You cannot say, for instance, "She discovered." As a transitive verb, "She discovered a remedy" needs an object.

Therefore, the following can be made passive: "A remedy was found."

Intransitive verbs lack an object after them. Say "She died," for instance. Or an adverb could come after it: "She passed away yesterday."

But we are unable to state, "She was dead" or "She passed away yesterday."

When do we use it?

You should only employ the passive if there is a special reason because the active is far more frequently used than the latter. These are the explanations for why we employ it.

Keep in mind that, depending on the context in which you are writing, this is typically a matter for you to decide.

  1. When you believe that the recipient of an action is more significant than the person who carried it out.
Interested in the doer Interested in the action
Farmers harvested the wheat in Spring. The wheat was harvested in Spring.
  1. When you believe that the perpetrator's identity is evident and hence does not require mentioning.
An obvious subject Omitting the doer
The cop imprisoned the robbers. The robbers were imprisoned.
  1. When the person who carried out the activity is concealed or when we don't want them to be.
A known doer An unknown doer
Bobby stole Patty's ring. Patty's ring was stolen.
  1. When you believe the performer is unimportant.
You feel it is relevant You feel it is irrelevant
Peon will close the office gate at 5pm. The office gate will be closed at 5pm.
  1. When you are writing for a certain genre, like academic journals or science reports.
Referring to the researcher Anonymising the researcher
He can draw several conclusions from your results. Several conclusions can be drawn from your results.

When do we use the passive voice for IELTS?

You can use it at any time while speaking or writing because it is simply a component of common grammar.

If you don't know how to use it, Task 1 of the Academic IELTS will require you to write about a man-made process, at which point you will really be in trouble (for natural processes you use active voice).

Here is an illustration of a process diagram that was created on the spot and asks you to explain how chocolate is made:

When describing a process like this, we are more interested in the activity itself than in the person performing it, or the "doer."

Therefore, the subjects are the activities in order to stress this. Look at this sample response; the passive voice is highlighted.

To begin with, the cacao tree, which is produced in Indonesia, South America, and Africa, is the source of cocoa. The white cocoa beans are extracted from the pods once they are ripe and red. They undergo a period of fermentation before being spread out on a sizable tray to dry in the sun. After that, they are transported to the factory in sizable sacks. The beans are then crushed and separated from their shells after being roasted at a temperature of 350 degrees. This inner portion that is still present is pressed to create chocolate in the last step.

Passive Voice Exercise

You can now put your passive voice skills to the test.

The provided sentence is an active one in the quiz. The passive sentence is shown below:

Passive voice

Unless specifically requested, exclude the object, i.e. "by," from your sentence. If you do, your work will be tagged as inaccurate. Include every other aspect.

Don't end your phrase with a space or a full stop (period), as doing so will make it appear improper, and begin each new sentence with a capital letter.

Here's an illustration:

Active: He has read the novel.

Answer: The novel has been read.