The Passive Voice
The passive voice is formed with the auxiliary to be and a past participle of either a regular or an irregular verb. However, the participle can only be formed from a transitive verb. For example:
to ﬁre - The new Manager is ﬁred.
to break - The large golden window was broken during a storm.
to ﬁnd - The children were found by a kind old man.
The auxiliary to be can be conjugated in any tense:
Present: She is hired for the job.
Past: She was hired for the job.
Present perfect: She has been hired for the job.
Past perfect: She had been hired for the job.
Future: She will be hired for the job.
Future perfect: She will have been hired for the job.
The Active Voice
A sentence in the active voice that has a transitive verb can be changed to the passive voice. But the function of the elements of the active sentence are different from their function in the passive sentence. Consider how the following active sentence changes to a passive sentence:
Active: John developed a new plan for the project.
Passive: A new plan for the project was developed by John.
1. The active subject becomes the object of the preposition by: by John.
2. The transitive verb in the active sentence is formed as a participle: developed.
3. The tense of the transitive verb in the active sentence (developed = past tense) becomes the tense of the auxiliary to be: was.
4. The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence: a new plan for the project.