The passive is created using ‘to be’ + the past participle.
He was arrested in Princes Street
The company was bought in 2003
USE- The passive can be used in reports when ‘who’ is not important, or when ‘who’ is something we don’t want to discuss: ‘The winning goal was scored in the 89th minute.’ ‘Because profits were badly affected during the crisis, it was decided that twenty-five percent of jobs should be cut. Cutting jobs is seen as the only way to save the company.’
Questions, negatives and tenses
Simply change 'to be' in the passive phrase to change tenses, make questions or negatives.
When was the company bought? The company wasn't bought in 2003.
The company is being bought at the moment. The company has been bought twice. The company will be bought next year.
Read the text then answer the questions:
Linux was developed as a free operating system for personal computers. It was first released in 1991 and has been developed constantly since then. According to Barry Levine, Linux has been installed on more computer operating platforms than any other system, thanks to the success of the Android operating system used in mobile phones. The development of Linux has been described as one of the best examples of free and open-source software collaboration.
What is Linux? When was it first released? Who developed it?
The last question isn’t really fair because the passive tells us lots of things, but it doesn’t tell us who did something. It concentrates on what happened, not who did it. How could we use the passive to talk about who did something? Which preposition would we use?
Highlight for answer: We use 'by' - Linux was developed by Linus Torvalds
Task: change the active sentences to the passive
She decided to replace three of the full-time staff. The company moved their billing operation to India and their call centre to Wales. The government raised income tax by 2%. The manufacturer withdrew their latest model because of safety concerns.
Task: change the passive sentences to active, you may need to supply a subject
The car was stolen at midnight. The Chancellor was dismissed by the Prime Minister. It was decided that all sales reps should be given a new car. The flight was delayed by bad weather in Karachi.