When do we use the passive?

How and when do I use the passive?

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Jul 10, 2013
The passive voice
by: IELTS buddy


The main reason we use the passive voice is when the focus is on the action, rather than the subject.

It is not important, not known, or maybe just obvious, who is performing the action so we do not say. For example:

"The man was arrested at his home"

Only the police can arrest someone, so we don't need to mention them.

In a passive sentence the object becomes the subject, and we change the verb to the past participle and add the verb 'to be':

"The police arrested the man at his home"

"The man was arrested at his home (by the police)"

A good example for IELTS is when we write about a process in task 1. We are interested in the process, NOT who is doing it.

You can see more about that and further explanations of the passive here.

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