How to make a verb passive?

Common grammar mistakes | Passive verbs

Using passive verbs in your writing can show your ability to use a range of grammatical structures effectively. It is commonly used to describe a process or procedure and is often used in formal writing as it is considered more impersonal. Using it correctly can improve your IELTS / TOEFL / CAE score. Here are some basic rules you need to get started ...

My home is located in the western part of the city. [correct]
My home locates in the western part of the city. [incorrect]

These funds can be give to the poorer people to help them. [incorrect]
These funds can be given to the poorer people to help them. [correct]

The passive is formed with the verb to be + the past participle of the verb:
Nowadays, a great deal of money is spent on advertising.

The verb to be should be changed into the correct tense:


present simple
present continuous
simple past
past continuous
present perfect
past perfect

is spent
is being spent
was spent
was being spent
has been spent
had been spent

To make the negative, we put not between the verb to be and the past participle:
We were not told that the rules had changed.

The passive can also be used in the infinitive form:
Children need to be taught the correct way to behave in public.

After modal verbs, we use the passive infinitive without to:
Some adults believe that children should be seen and not heard.
You will be paid on the last Friday of each month.

See more common grammar mistakes


  1. Hi,

    Your blog is really interesting to discuss. Through this, many students IELTS will realize their most common mistakes in making passive verb written IELTS. And one thing I like is the content of your blog. It is well explained and easy to understand where the students can easily acquire the knowledge that you are trying to convey.

    Thank you.

  2. This is very helpful, especially for new English learners. By avoiding these common mistakes, they can improve their writing way better.Moreover, the way you're presenting your idea is very easy to follow.


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