When To Use The Passive Verb

Choice of passive structures

We use passive structures when we want to talk about an action, but are not interested in stating who or what does/did it.

  • Promises should be kept. (passive)
  • Smoking must be banned. (passive)
  • This house was built in 1990.
  • The house is being painted.

Some verbs can be used in both active and passive forms with similar meanings. Examples are: to worry/to be worried; to drown/to be drowned.

Sometimes active and passive infinitives can be used with very similar meanings.

  • There is a lot of work to do.
  • There is a lot of work to be done.
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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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