Form 1 English Passive voice Name: Class: Date

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Form 1 English-- Passive voice

Name: _____________ Class: ______ ( ) Date: ________________

After studying these worksheets, you will…

  • know the form of passive voice construction

  • convert a sentence from active voice to passive voice and vice versa

  • write sentences in the passive voice in simple present and simple past tenses

  • explain the use of the correct voice in the appropriate situations

Verbs “to be”

Fill in the blanks with the correct versions of the verb to ‘be’.

Past participle

Fill in the table with past participles (p.p.)


Simple past

Past participle (p.p.)



























Active and passive voices

Active voice: Jeremy eats hamburgers.

Passive voice: Hamburgers are eaten by Jeremy/ Hamburgers are eaten.

  • When the doer of the action is the subject, the verb is active.

  • When the doer is not the subject, the verb is passive. In the passive voice, the doer is usually at the end of the sentence, put after “by”, or is not shown in the sentence.

  • Passive voice is used when the action is the focus, not the subject. In the passive voice, the doer of the action is not important or not known.

Fill in the words ‘active’ or ‘passive’ in the right place.

  1. The tea is served by the waiter. _________ voice

  2. The waiter serves the tea. _________ voice

  1. Peter broke the window. _________ voice

  2. A window was broken by Peter. _________ voice

Choose a sentence from above to talk about the pictures below.

The tea is served by the waiter.


The form of passive voice construction is verb ‘to be’ + p.p.

Fill in the following table.

Active voice

Passive voice

Sam eats a cake.

Sam eats two cakes.

Sam ate a cake yesterday.

Sam ate two cakes yesterday.

verb ‘to be’ + p.p

A cake



(by Sam).

Two cakes



(by Sam).

Some sentences in this passage are written in the passive voice. Underline the verb to ‘be’ + p.p. construction. Some has been done for you:

 2000-year-old kitchens were found

in Sha Tin-Central MTR site 

by Raoul Tam, SCMP

During the construction of the new MTR Shatin to Central Link, more old buildings from the past were discovered. Some old houses were found. A plan is developed to find all the houses. The public is asked to be patient. Some experts are asked to help by the MTR Company.
The houses were built about 2000 years ago. Later, the houses were extended and kitchens were added. According to historians, bread was baked in the kitchens. Some kitchens were decorated with stones. It is known that many houses were destroyed by fire.
The SCMP is told that some more ancient kitchens are underground. More time is needed to determine the exact amount of these underground kitchens.

Changing the voice

Jeremy eats hamburgers.

Hamburgers are eaten by Jeremy.

verb ‘to be’ + p.p

Hamburgers are eaten.

  1. Subject  at the back of the sentence, behind ‘by’/ omit the subject

  2. Object  becomes the subject in the new sentence

  3. Verb: verb ‘to be’ + past participle (e.g. gone, seen, sent, written, built)

Convert these sentences into passive voice.

Kelly does homework.

Kelly did homework yesterday.

Eric writes stories.

Eric wrote some ghost stories last year.

Convert these sentences into the passive voice.

The place was a teahouse from 2005 to 2007.

  1. The waiters brewed the tea.

  2. In 2008, the owner built two new kitchens.

The teahouse became a Chinese restaurant.

  1. Now, the chef prepares some small dishes.

  2. Some singers perform traditional music.

You can enjoy the multisensory enjoyment here!

  1. The waiters brewed the tea.


  1. The owner built two new kitchens.


  1. In the recent years, the chef prepares some small dishes.

In the recent years, _____________________.

  1. Some singers perform traditional music.


Convert these sentences into the active voice.

  1. The coffee and tea are freshly brewed. (subject: the waiters)

The waiters brew the coffee and tea fresh.

  1. The cookies were eaten by Ashley.


  1. The dishes are carefully prepared by the chef.

The chef carefully ____________________

  1. We were attacked. (subject: somebody)

(g) His neck was broken (subject: somebody)


  1. Terrible mistakes were made. (subject: the government)


  1. Fork was invented in Germany. (subject: somebody)


  1. Pizzas were eaten by poor people in the 19th century.


  1. Ramen is originally produced in Japan. (subject: somebody)


Choose a dish that you can cook using the following ingredients. Write 3-5 sentences to talk about the ingredient.
Then, read the sentences to your neighbor and ask your neighbor to guess your dish.
Let’s cook!






















Soy sauce





1. ________________________________is used.

2. _______________________________________.
3. _______________________________________.
4. _______________________________________.
5. _______________________________________.
I made ___________________________!
Your neighbor’s guess: ___________________________

Answer the following questions using complete sentences in passive voice.
Are some dim sum dishes prepared by frying?


Were pizzas eaten by rich people in the 19th century?


Where is ramen originally produced?


Was the fork invented in Germany?


Create some more questions about food in the passive voice, and ask your neighbor.
Your question: ____________________________________________

Correct answer: ___________________________________________

Your neighbour’s answer: ___________________________________
Your question: ____________________________________________

Correct answer: ___________________________________________

Your neighbour’s answer: ___________________________________
Your question: ____________________________________________

Correct answer: ___________________________________________

Your neighbour’s answer: ___________________________________
Your question: ____________________________________________

Correct answer: ___________________________________________

Your neighbour’s answer: ___________________________________
Your question: ____________________________________________

Correct answer: ___________________________________________

Your neighbour’s answer: ___________________________________
Watch the video clips from some TV shows and fill in the blanks. Circle the correct choice.
1st clip

Man 1:

Hey! What happened?

Man 2:

We ________________.

_________ voice

Man 1:

By whom?

Man 2:

I don’t know

Man 2 used this voice…

  1. to sound more formal

(b) because the speaker did not know the doer

2nd clip

Man 1:

His neck has been broken.

__passive__ voice

Man 2:

That’s because I ________ it.

__________ voice

Man 2 used this voice because it sounded…

  1. direct

(b) polite

(c) unsure

3rd clip

Male lawyer:

(Talking about Tom)

Well, how ___ he ____ Wagner?

_______ voice

Female lawyer:


Male lawyer:

Withdrawn! How ___ Wagner ____?

_______ voice

The female lawyer thinks the question is unfair to Tom because…

  1. it suggests Tom killed Wagner

  2. it suggests Wagner killed Tom

4th clip


(Talking about torture in American prisons)

So, there were a lot of people who did a lot of things right, and _______ very hard to keep us safe, but I think that any fair-minded person looking at this would say that some terrible mistakes __________.

_______ voice

_______ voice

By using these voices, Obama…

  1. sounded more negative

  2. avoided saying who made the mistakes

Active and passive voices--which one do you prefer and why?

  1. “What did Ashley eat for dinner?”

“The cookies were eaten (by Ashley).”

  1. “Where are the cookies?”

“Ashley ate the cookies.”

Explanation: The focus of Question (b) is on the cookies. It is not important to know who ate them.
Draw lines to match the questions on the left with the correct answers on the right. Explain your choice to your neighbour.

  1. “I am a new chef to this restaurant? What is my duty?”

“The dishes are carefully prepared by the chef and the coffee and tea are freshly brewed.”

  1. “I am a new customer of this restaurant? How do you prepare your food?”

“The chef carefully prepares the dishes, and the waiters brew the coffee and tea fresh.”

Draw lines to match the sentences on the left with the correct intention or effect on the right. Explain your choice to your neighbour.

  1. “A window was broken.”

The speaker spoke with a responsible tone.

  1. “I broke the window.”

The speaker did not want to tell who broke the window.

Draw lines to match the sentences on the left with the correct intention or effect on the right. Explain your choice to your neighbour.

  1. “My parents buy me the new iPhone 6S.”

The speaker sounded like a spoilt child.

  1. “A new iPhone 6S is bought.”

The speaker did not want to tell who buys the new phone.
Choose the passage which is more suitable in the situation. Explain your reason. You may use the following words to help you.
direct polite formal focus tone avoid doer optional action

  1. Live commentary of a football match on TV:



Ashley Young gets the ball. He is kicking it. He passes the ball to Anthony Martial, and then to Juan Mata. He is steering the ball forward. He is leading the way. James Wilson is aiming for the goalpost… He has scored a point!

The ball is gotten. It is being kicked. The ball is passed. The ball is being steered forward. The way is being led. The goalpost is being aimed at... A point has been scored!

Passage ____ (A/B) is more suitable because _______________________ ____________________________________________________________

  1. An article titled The Legislative Council Building written by the Antiques and Monuments Office taken from p. 8, History textbook



Someone built The Old Supreme Court on reclaimed land. The governor opened the building. Some stone columns support the building.

The Old Supreme Court was built on reclaimed land. The building was opened by the governor. The two-story granite building is supported by some stone columns.

Passage ____ (A/B) is more suitable because _______________________ ____________________________________________________________

  1. An article titled Life in Stone Age from p. 36-37, History textbook



Old Stone Age people built simple huts. They hunted animals. They used spears and axes. New Stone Age people made pottery. They kept livestock, such as chickens and pigs. They also used ploughs to farm.

Simple huts were built. Animals were hunted. Spears and axes were used. Pottery was made. Livestock, such as chickens and pigs were kept. Ploughs were used to farm.

Passage ____ (A/B) is more suitable because _______________________ ____________________________________________________________

  1. An article titled The Bunsen Burner from p. 38, IS textbook



The Bunsen burner was invented in 1855 by a German chemist Robert Bunsen. It was used for heating. Later, the design was modified into a stove. A stove is used for cooking in the kitchen.

A German chemist Robert Bunsen invented the Bunsen burner in 1855. People in 1800s used it for heating. Later, Latia Schroff modified the design into a stove. People use stove for cooking in the kitchen.

Passage ____ (A/B) is more suitable because _______________________ ____________________________________________________________

  1. An article titled How We Study History from p. 17, History textbook



Historians divides history into different historic periods. Historians collect different kinds of sources. Historians mainly use primary sources when studying history.

History is divided into different historic periods. Different kinds of sources are collected. Primary sources are mainly used when studying history.

Passage ____ (A/B) is more suitable because _______________________ ____________________________________________________________
This is a draft welcoming speech for the school Food Week. It contains sentences written in the passive voice. You think that using the active voice is more appropriate in speeches.

Good morning Ms Lo, Mr Yee, teachers, and fellow schoolmates,

The Food Week is coming!


First of all, I am excited to announce some good news. Ms Lo Mik Suet is invited by us. Ms Lo is a famous Taipei food specialist. Some interesting ideas about food are shared by her.

There are a lot of food-related activities during the Food Week. Some games can be played by you. You can come to the covered playground during recess time to play games about food. Also, TV shows about food can be watched by you. For any enquiries, please contact Chairman of the Food Club. Thank you.

Rewrite the underlined sentences in active voice.

  1. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  4. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Why is the active voice more appropriate in this passage?

_________________________________________ _________________________________________

_________________________________________ _________________________________________

These sentences are from a tray liner from the KFC fast food restaurant. Convert the sentences from active voice to passive voice, or vice versa.

Our chickens are purchased from quality suppliers. (Use subject ‘we’)


We use computerized fryers in all KFC restaurants.


KFC staff will discard those products which are not up to standard.


The Hygiene Manager trains staff to follow food safety procedures.


Do you think the active and passive voices are used appropriately on the tray liner? Explain.

Fill in the blanks in the newspaper.

Local news
A new piece of voice recording of top Hong Kong University meeting is _____________ (upload) online!

Education news
Eddie Ng said TSA will not be _____________ (cancel)

Sports news
All tickets to the China vs Hong Kong football match are _____________ (sell)

International new
More than 2500 people are _____________ (kill) in an earthquake in Iran.

Gossip column
A Batman movie was _____________ (film) in Hong Kong

A new kind of animal is _____________ (discover) in the Pacific Ocean

Choose one piece of new item from above, write 3-5 sentences about it in the passive voice. Then, discuss the news item with your neighbor.

  1. ________________________________________________

  2. ________________________________________________

  3. ________________________________________________

  4. ________________________________________________

  5. ________________________________________________

Challenging Questions

Fill in the blanks with the correct verbs to complete the proverbs. Search the internet for help if you need. Make sure the tense and voice are correct.

The road to hell_________ with good intentions.


A liar _________ when he tells the truth.

(not believe)

Desires _________ by delays.


Danger foreseen __ half ______.


What ____ cannot be undone.


Rome _____________in a day.

(not build)

Ask no questions and you _________ no lies.


Fill in the blanks.

This restaurant sells many kinds of food.

  • Many kinds of food are sold _____(in / by) this restaurant.

The waitress gave me some tea.

  • I _____ _____ some tea.

  • Some tea __________ _________ to me.

He baked the bread.

  • The bread was baked by _________.
Which sentence is better, A or B? Why?

  • Alice grows many vegetables in the garden.

  • A. Many vegetables are grown by Alice in the garden.

  • B Many vegetables are grown in the garden by Alice.

What is the problem with this sentence?

  • The mealtime was finished at 12 p.m.

Turn these sentence into the active voice. If you cannot, why not?

  • Dim sum are prepared by either frying or steaming.


  • She was drawing a picture when I arrived.


  • Hong Kong is a paradise of food.

Rewrite these ungrammatical sentences into grammatical sentences in the passive voice.

  • I was eaten an ice cream. (X)

  • The hamburger was eat by Calvin. (X)

  • He was prepared a dish. (X)

  • I have been managed a restaurant since 2004. (X)

To know more about passive voice, look for the topics ‘voice’, ‘adverbials’, ‘end weight’, ‘end focus’, ‘agency’, ‘transitivity’ and ‘indirect objects’ in an advanced grammar book.


Graphs and photos adapted from South China Morning Post,;; and internet sources.

Texts adapted from ‘Britain’s Roman Villas’ from “Mosaica”,; JHS textbook; New journey through history(1A), - Kan & Tang, Aristo, 2012; Understanding Integrated Science for the 21st Century Book 1A (3rd Edition) – W.K. Chan, W.Y. Luk, A. Kai, K.S. Lam, Aristo, 2012.
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