We use the passive when we are focussed on the object of a sentence or when we do not know who caused the action.
active: Rembrandt paints a picture. (The focus is on Rembrandt)
passive: This picture is painted by Rembrandt (Now the focus is on the picture)
active: We request all passengers to proceed to gate A34.
passive: All passengers are requested to proceed to gate A34. (we’re hiding the “we” here in order to make it impersonal)
active: Someone built this house in 1788.
passive: This house was built in 1788. (we’re hiding the “someone” here making it impersonal)
«to be» + past participle of the main verb
What is a ‘past participle’? Example: infinitive: to go present = go simple past = went past participle = gone
go → went → gone
get → got → gotten
request → requested → requested
ask → asked → asked
consider → considered → considered
remind → reminded → reminded
break → broke → broken
read → read → read (attention! – while they all look the same the two “read” in both past forms are pronounced like “red”)
Passive in different times:
the man is hit by a car.
the man was hit by a car.
the man has been hit by a car.
the man had been hit by a car.
In business you will find a lot in the form of
your attention is required
your are kindly requested to
you will be asked to
it has to be confirmed
in all these cases the purpose of using the passive form is to hide who does it in fact, who asks you to do this or that.
This house was built. → This house was built by Peter Hampton.
This report was established on the current marketing figures → This report was established by the sales department based on the current marketing figures
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain
Often you will find short forms like
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Sailing by Rod Steward
to be advised
to be announced
to be …………