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GRAMMAR The passive (B1 Intermediate)

Learn and review GRAMMAR The passive at B1 Intermediate level with our free and interactive online exercises. Register to try our English courses for free.

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We form the passive using be + past participle.

Present SimpleThey make a lot of films in Bollywood.A lot of films are made in Bollywood.
Present ContinuousThe scriptwriters are writing a new script this month.A new script is being written this month.
Present PerfectThe company has sold the film rights for £10 million.The film rights have been sold for £10 million.
Past ContinuousThere was an accident while they were filming the action scene.There was an accident while the action scene was being filmed.
FutureDisney will make a film based on the book.A film will be made based on the book.
Past SimpleBrad Pitt produced the film The Departed.The film The Departed was produced by Brad Pitt.
Modal verbsHBO should make a new drama film.A new drama film should be made by HBO.

We use passive verb forms:
• when the main thing we are talking about is the object of the verb.
A film will be made from the book.
The film should be done by an experienced director.
(We are talking about the film, not the director.)

• when the agent (also called the doer) isn’t important.
The book has been made into a movie. (We don’t care about the company who made the movie.)

• when the agent (the doer) is obvious.
A new drama is being filmed this year. (by a film director)

• when we don’t know who did something or what caused something.
The Hobbit story was filmed in 3 parts.

Negatives and questions are made in the same way as other
uses of be:
Good films aren’t made here.
Is a scene being shot today?

We use by to introduce the person or thing that did the action (the agent/doer):
This action scene was done by a stunt double, not the real actor.

We usually use with to introduce a tool, instrument or technique that was used by the agent:
Some of Star Wars characters were made with puppets.

We can say something was made by hand or by machine:
The costumes for the film were made by hand in Spain.


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