The passive voice is sometimes used in English as well. In the active voice, the subject performs the action on something else; in the passive voice, the action is performed on the subject.
–The doctor wrote a prescription.
–The prescription was written by the doctor.
NOTE: In the passive, the object of the active verb becomes the subject.
To make the passive, use the appropriate form of the verb to be + past participle. Only transitive verbs are used in the passive:
|–Fred helps Jane.||— Jane is helped by Fred.|
|–He is helping her.||— She is being helped by him.|
|–He has helped her.||— She has been helped by him.|
|–He helped her.||— She was helped by him.|
|–He was helping her.||— She was being helped by him.|
|–He had helped her.||–She had been helped by him.|
|–He will help her.||— She will be helped by him.|
|–He is going to help her.||— She is going to be helped by him.|
Usually the by phrase is omitted in a passive sentence. The passive is used mainly when it is not known or not important to know who was responsible for the action:
–The house was built in 1960.
(The by phrase is left out because it is understood that builders built the house).