English Grammar lesson - Passive voice sentences in the past tense ( Learn English)
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In this English Grammar lesson, you will learn the passive voice in the past tense.
The active voice is used to give importance to the subject or the doer of the action and the passive voice gives importance to the object.
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There are basic steps you follow to convert the sentences from active to passive.
1. Interchange the subject and object
2. Take the main verb in its past participle form.
3. Do not change the tense of the original sentence, so add an auxiliary verb.
4. Ensure the doer of the action does not change once the sentence is in the passive voice.
Example 01: The man cut down the tree. (active)
The tree was cut down by the man. (passive)
Example 02: The boys were helping the wounded man. (active)
The wounded man was being helped by the boys. (passive)
Example 03: He had given me a bouquet. (active)
I had been given a bouquet by him. (passive)
In the above example, ‘me’ is the object as action of giving a bouquet had been done on ‘me’. People often get confused with ‘bouquet’ as the object. To clear the confusion while identifying the object, always ask the question-on whom is the action done.
Example 04: Who broke the jar? (active)
By whom was the jar broken? (passive)
Example 05: Why were you doing the work? (active)
Why was the work being done by you? (passive)
Example 06: Why had you done the work? (active)
Why had the work been done by you? (passive)
There is no ‘past perfect continuous’ tense for the passive voice.
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